Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck is a very rare game: it has mostly mediocre minigames, and yet is one of the most compelling games released this year. It absolutely triumphs in most aspects not related to gameplay and a few that are; most notably-- and this isn't the boldest thing I'll say in this review-- it is the best Looney Tunes material created in any of our lifetimes. It completely redeems a license and character that have fallen into obsolescence. Forget that Back in Action ever happened. (Sorry if I reminded you that Back in Action happened.) This is a Daffy who can genuinely get away with a Captain Picard reference.
The concept of the game mirrors the 1951 cartoon of the same name, in which Daffy Duck, thinking he's going to star in a cartoon, is instead tormented by an omnipotent animator who changes the background, the perspective, and Daffy's appearance just because. This time, Daffy begins a Super Mario Bros. style game before the background abruptly disappears and Daffy, finding himself in a familiar white void, addresses the person on the other side of the screen. He hopes to help nail down what kind of game he'll be in; instead, he is maliciously put through the wringer over and over again. Daffy's appearance and animations are absolutely perfect; the characterization is classic Daffy: even as he is increasingly enraged, he remains naively game about his big break.
Many of the 20-odd games are extraordinarily clever in gameplay or in concept. For example, the closed-DS game is maybe the most innovative minigame found on the DS to date: Daffy directs you to press the L or R trigger to help him trap a monster under the cover of darkness. Another game, called "Diamond Mine! Mine!" imitates Atari 2600-era games like Adventure, casting the player as a diamond escaping from a cave while being chased by a greedy Daffy. There are parodies of recent games, including one strange game that manages to parody both Brain Age and Cooking Mama. But while clever, the games quickly stop holding any interest after you figure out how to play them. The lifespan of one of these games is generally as follows: play once, laugh, fail, figure out trick, play again, excel, forget about game forever.
Final Score: 8/10