Developer Rockstar Leeds
Platform Game Boy Advance
Initial release date 28 February 2004
Publisher BAM! Entertainment
|Release date(s) EU: February 28, 2004
NA: February 1, 2005|
Genres Action-adventure game, Survival horror
Similar BAM! Entertainment games, Action-adventure games
A Sound of Thunder is an action-adventure survival horror for the Game Boy Advance. The game was developed by former Mobius Entertainment and published by BAM! Entertainment, Inc and Franchise Interactive. It was released first in Europe on February 28, 2004 before arriving in North America on February 1, 2005. The story is based loosely both on the original short story by Ray Bradbury of the same name and follows more closely the plot of the 2005 movie. The game was originally also planned for home sixth generation game consoles, including Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and the Sony PlayStation 2, but these were canceled as of December 2006.
The game mostly follows the plot of the film and retains some of the characters. Travis Ryer is a guide and biologist for Time Safari Inc. (TSI), a company which provides time-travel hunting safaris for the rich. After a time tourist alters the course of events in the late Cretaceous, the future begins to change as "time waves" bring further consequences due to the butterfly's absence from the course of history. Dinosaur-like creatures soon run rampant, and the world becomes progressively overgrown with tropical vegetation.
Travis learns from Dr. Sonia Rand, inventor of the time machine, that a butterfly was brought back from the past on the last safari. He tries going back to reset the timeline, but is turned back by a "cleanup crew" from TSI. The crew disappears, however, due to the changes in history. Ryer gets in contact with one of the tourists, Ted Eckles (spelled Eckels in the film), who informs him it was his friend Christian Middleton who was responsible. On the way to Middleton's place, Eckles is killed as a time wave arrives. Middleton is discovered dead, but Ryer manages to retrieve the butterfly, get back to TSI and enter the time machine. Right afterwards, a time wave arrives and gets rid of the vegetation and animals, implying the timeline was set right.
The game is an overhead shooter, played from an isometric perspective. The object is to complete each mission by killing mutants, solving push-the-crate puzzles and completing the occasional driving stage until the end of the level is reached. Along the way, the player can earn points for collecting items, killing enemies, completing the level within a certain time and exploring all the rooms. The player can resume his progress via a six-letter password-based save, which does not, however, retain these scores.
The game provides an array of collectible weapons, which automatically lock onto enemies. One of them, the Time Freeze Disruptor, can slow down the player's surroundings while he continues to move at regular speed (similar to bullet time). Most weapons rely on collectible ammo, but the electric prod only needs to be charged by holding down the fire button before use. The game can be played alone or in co-op via Link Cable. The Link Cable also allows for a single-cartridge deathmatch with up to four players in a special arena.
The game is better received than its critical and commercial failure film counterpart which the game is based on. The game's criticism focused on the password-based save system, and praise on the single-cart multiplayer.
A modified version of the game's graphics engine was used for the GBA port of Max Payne.