What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a scuba-diving simulation game where nothing bad can happen. You can't run out of air, no fish will attack or harm you, and you can't get lost at sea. The game simulates nature and lets children experience what it's like to swim underwater at coral reefs and ancient shipwrecks. The Wii controls are simple enough that even a 5-year-old can play it.
What's it about?
ENDLESS OCEAN is a game for the Nintendo Wii that allows you to go on a series of scuba diving adventures. You can choose to simply dive to explore what this Endless Ocean has to offer, or you can get assignments to dive for a specific reason, including finding a particular species of fish or giving one of your dive customers a lesson. The graphics simulate nature as you encounter hundreds of fish and animals that populate this virtual ocean including sharks, dolphins, humpback wrasses, and blue tangs.
To play, kids simply point the Wii remote at the screen and move it in the direction they want to swim. To swim, they hold down the "B" button. When they encounter a fish they can click on it by pointing at it with the Wii remote and then pushing the "A" button. Thereafter they can interact with the fish by "petting" or feeding it, and when they become familiar enough with it, unlock educational information about the fish.
Is it any good?
The intuitive use of the Wii controls makes this game an excellent choice for families looking to introduce kids to the wonders of the sea. Some of the assignments, like teaching a dolphin tricks, will particularly appeal to kids. But for some, if you stay under for too long, the diving can get tedious.
Endless Ocean makes scuba diving a peaceful, non-threatening adventure. The underwater visuals of this game make you feel as if you are actually in the ocean with sunlight filtering through the water. Kids are never in danger, even when swimming with sharks or whales. Plus, you can never run out of air and returning to your ship is as easy as pushing a button on the Wii remote. While the game can be played by two people, it's unfortunate that it has to be from two different machines. Parents will appreciate that you can only swim with someone with whom you can exchange friend codes using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the importance of preserving coral reefs and keeping the oceans free of pollution. In what ways is this game unrealistic? What did you think about "petting" the fish -- is this something you should try to do in real life? Does this game make you want to learn how to scuba dive?