What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Babysitting Mama is a simulation game with a unique control method: The Wii remote is tucked inside a real baby doll (included) which you actually carry, hold, and rock during the game. There are a couple of small slapsticky moments among the mini-game tasks, like one challenge in which you have to dodge toys thrown by a tantrumming baby and a multiplayer game in which two players can "race" their crawling babies. For the most part, though, the game has a very sweet and gentle tone to it.
What's it about?
BABYSITTING MAMA lets you simulate caring for an infant by holding, bouncing, and cuddling a real plush baby doll. Your Wii remote is tucked inside the doll and registers the way you move the soft toy around. The nunchuck controller is also awkwardly sticking out of the baby's back on its long white cord, but it doesn't actually get in the way -- and you need the nunchuck controller for certain games that can't be simulated by simply moving the baby doll, like diaper-changing, photo-taking, and the more fantasy-like "baby racing" game.
Is it any good?
When you first see the big, round-headed baby doll that comes with Babysitting Mama, you may think: Gimmick! But using that doll (which is a very well-made, decent toy on its own, by the way), really provides a unique and enjoyable experience -- one that little kids are sure to like. This is a very sweet game that promotes patience, gentleness, and responsibility -- and it's fun at the same time. While most of the game is spent trying to calm the baby, it's not all about peace and quiet, though. There are a good number of more up-tempo mini-games as well (most of which use the nunchuck controller) and some suprise moments that pop up, in which Mama's older daughter interrupts to call for help somewhere else in the house. There are a decent slate of multiplayer games here as well, but unfortunately none of them involve the baby doll (there's only one doll, of course). Still they're pretty fun games, like speed-diaper-changing and blanky tug-of-war. All in all, this is a great fun package, and it is not just an attention-grabbing gimmick.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how much this game resembles real babysitting. What parts of the game do you think reflect real life? Which parts do you think are less realistic? What does the game teach you about real babies?
Do you like that the game has introduced this new "baby doll controller," or would you have rather played it with a regular Wii remote? Do you think bonus items like the baby doll are gimmicks to help sell a game, or do they genuinely improve the playing experience?
Families can also talk about setting time limits for playing video games.