I’m trying really hard to avoid just calling Activision’s The Trash Pack trash. One, because that’s harsh, and two, because it’s just too obvious. But it’s not wrong, because this is not a good game.
Based on the little collectible figures, The Trash Pack features four different garbage-related minigames that you complete to earn new Trashie figures. Each game features one simple mechanic that you’ll repeat over and over to earn a higher score, and then more characters. They are:
- Trash Attack – Avoid falling garbage while trying to collect tin cans. Why are cans the ones to collect, amidst all the other garbage? No idea.
- Trash Catch – Drive back and forth across a small area, collecting falling trash in the back of your garbage truck.
- Trash Drop – Bearing a superficial resemblance to Angry Birds, you fling your Trashies from left to right, knocking hanging trash into garbage bins.
- Trash Toss – The best of the bunch, though far too repetitive and lacking in challenge after a while, has you flinging your Trashie at cans at various distances.
At best, each of the four minigames in this collection should be one-note Flash games on a Trash Pack website, and in fact, there are three games on the Trash Pack website that are as good, if not better than what’s included in this collection. Or, it could have been a cute little app that felt like a decent deal on your mobile device of choice, because the games work at a fundamental level, they just lack any depth whatsoever. As a regular DS-priced game, it doesn’t work.
The game does feature 179 different Trash Pack characters to collect across a number of different categories, but they are given out at random after each game, so there’s really no strategy involved, or anything you can really do with them. You can also check off the ones you own in real life once you’ve unlocked them in the game, which I guess is something.
As a parent, if you are unfamiliar with The Trash Pack, they are cutely little rubber characters with silly names, many derived from bodily functions. It doesn’t ever approach the level of grossness of the Garbage Pail Kids I recall fondly from my youth, but if you don’t want your kids getting into fart, poop, and snot humor, be warned.
The GamerPops Recommendation
So there you have it, a game about garbage that isn’t quite garbage, but isn’t a whole lot better. I’d love to recommend this as a $2.99 mobile app to keep your kids occupied on the go, but as a DS game that costs 10x as much, that’s just not possible. Parents, if you are cool with your kids playing with The Trash Pack, encourage them to spend their money on more of the cute little toys, because even by games-based-on-toys standards, this is a fail.
A review copy was provided to GamerPops.
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ESRB Rating Summary
Rating Category: E for Everyone
Content Descriptors: Comic Mischief
Rating Summary: This is a puzzle game in which players complete junkyard-themed activities to collect “cartoony” characters called Trashies. In one mini-game (Trash Attack), players must avoid falling rubbish; their character blinks when hit. Many Trashies are depicted in various forms of decay, and some have comical names that reference body odor/bodily functions (e.g., Puke Pod, Putrid Foot, Loo Paper, Snotten).