EyeToy : Play 3

Why change a winning formula? This is presumably what the makers of EyeToy : Play 3 were thinking when they came up with their third offering, the most derivative yet. Indeed, why change a formula that has been vaguely successful in the past but has now lost its novelty?

As in the first two EyeToy : Play titles there are two sections, Playroom and Games, and twelve mini-games to take part in. EyeToy : Play 3 even makes use of some of the graphics and playroom effects of the earlier titles.

There is improved tracking, thanks to the ability to set lighting conditions as "bright room" or "dim room", although this was also available in EyeToy : Play 2. This makes the EyeToy far more accurate. However you do have to remember to adjust this setting every time you restart your console, because it resets to the default every time.

There are three musical games, all based on previous EyeToy : Play titles as far as gameplay is concerned. Maestro features classical music, whilst Be The Band is rock and DJ is dance. Apart from the medley of classical music, none of this music is by anyone you will have heard of. From the generic sounds, it's obvious that no money has been spent on getting hold of decent songs from famous artists.

Another three of the games are only playable in multiplayer mode. Multiplayer has been extended, so that as well as a choice of games you can play in Party, Tournament or Quick modes, depending on how long you want to spend. All of the multiplayer-only games are based on short, random challenges.

Unfortunately multiplayer often tries to cram all players on the screen at once, in parallel play. Whilst this is just about feasible with two players, with three or four it's just ridiculous. The flailing arms and potential for cheating will inevitably lead to endless arguments amongst younger players. And this is clearly a game meant for younger players.

Most of the games follow the format of three main levels, with two bonus rounds sandwiched in between. So the games generally make for a good workout, with enough variation to hold interest during play. But apart from the score-keeping, there is no sense of progression. There are no bonuses or new games to unlock, and no storylines. So unfortunately EyeToy : Play 3 doesn't have a great deal of longevity. It would be worth buying instead of EyeToy : Play or EyeToy : Play 2 because many of the playroom effects on those games are also included on this one. But if you already own one of those titles, don't bother with this one. The gameplay, graphics and ideas aren't interesting or innovative enough to make it worth your while.