‘The Secret Life Of Pets: Unleashed’ Teases Upcoming Illumination Release

Superheroes may rule the adult box office, but for the youngest moviegoers, the Summer of 2016 has been ruled by their animal friends. Now EA Games is teaming up with Universal and Illumination Studios to put movie sized entertainment in the palms of their hands.

On June 21, EA Released The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed. The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed serves as both a preview and tie-in game to the upcoming summer film which follows the hours of a pet’s life when their owners are away.

According to Business Wire, EA Game General Manager Michelle Bizarro had a particular plan in mind for The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed.

“We set out to combine the features, functionality and challenge of a Match-3 game with the storyline and humor of an animated feature so you can interact with these insanely cute pets before and even after watching the film.”

Regarding gameplay, The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed feels like a mash-up of all the best parts of a mobile puzzle game. Picture Candy Crush Saga (are any variation thereof) with dog toys instead of candy and sparkling new graphics. That is The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed. There are familiar game mechanics, such as lives deducted from a pool with each loss, which forces the player to either pay for more lives or wait for them to regenerate. While the game doesn’t necessarily break new ground in the mobile game arena, it is undeniably entertaining. There are moments where The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed charms players into falling in love with not only the game, but the film on which it is based.

Remember Leonard, the fluffy poodle from the trailers that lives a secret life as a metalhead? Several levels are devoted to Leonard’s quest to pump the volume to the max, which the player achieves by earning a high score. The higher the score, the harder Leonard rocks out, albeit not to the System of a Down song from the trailer. Chloe, the massive gray cat, voiced in The Secret Life of Pets by Lake Bell, makes an appearance as a space clearing power up in the first levels of the game. Despite the cameo appearances, the game belongs to the main character of the film, Max, voiced by Louis C.K. in both the film and the game. Most levels are devoted to the player making combinations to advance a clock in the upper right corner of the interface. The higher your score, the sooner Max is reunited with his owner, Katie, voiced by Ellie Kemper in The Secret Life of Pets.

The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed gets more complicated at level 6. No longer can players simply match toys, they must also avoid traps and remove obstacles if they want to reunite Max and Katie. Overall, The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed is entertaining, and keeps the upcoming release fresh in the player’s mind at all times.

Of course, if you have a child or love animation, The Secret Life of Pets is probably already in the forefront of your mind. Particularly if you live in the United Kingdom. According to Deadline, The Secret Life of Pets had a big opening weekend in Norway and Great Britain. Audiences in Great Britain shunned Independence Day: Resurgence and led The Secret Life of Pets with the fourth biggest original animated feature opening ever. The Secret Life of Pets’ competitors on the list are all Pixar movies. But while Finding Dory, Pixar’s follow-up to Finding Nemo, was a smash in the domestic box office, it hasn’t been released yet in the United Kingdom. Which means Max and his buddies might not rule the box office there for long.

The Secret Life of Pets: Unleashed is available now for free on Google Play and the App Store. The Secret Life of Pets hits theaters on July 8.

[Image via Illumination Entertainment]