Playmobil Circus

Common Sense Media says

Top-notch mini-games for families to play together.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's an explicit practice-makes-perfect message. And all that hard work and practice pays off nicely.

Positive role models

All the characters are shown laughing and having fun -- no one in the game is depressed, upset, or angry at any time. With only a few possible exceptions (the monkeys are mischievous, and the lion tamer -- who puts a lollipop in and out of the lion's mouth, not his head -- teases the animal a bit), the characters are hard-working, fun-loving, likable performers.

Ease of play

Some acts are easier to perform than others, but the controls for most work incredibly well. On the whole, they're better than those in other circus games.

Violence & scariness

The horse trainer "gently" wakes sleeping horses with a whip (they don't seem to be hurt by it). A clown dives through flaming hoops and gets slightly singed if he hits the fire. There is also a magic act, in which two clowns saw through a box with a magician inside it, but his act is clearly meant to be a trick and the magician giggles while being cut in half to show he is not being hurt. In another magic act, the magician "zaps" rabbits with his wand as they pop out of hats, casting spells to make them disappear. Beyond that, the only other violence is of a slapstick nature (e.g., a monkey throws a banana at a man and knocks him off a pedestal), but that all occurs in cinematic scenes, rather than player-controled parts.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on and features Playmobil toys.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun collection of circus-themed mini-games has easy to pick up controls and a great cooperative multiplayer mode, all of which makes it a good choice for family gaming. There is a mischievous sense of humor behind much of the action, but nothing that should be inappropriate for young kids. Parents to need to be fully aware, though, that the game is also likely to inspire requests for the purchase of Playmobil toys.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's it about?

PLAYMOBIL CIRCUS allows you to perform a series of silly circus acts with cute Playmobil toy characters. You need to start by practicing the acts in a back lot, and when you've perfected an act, you can perform an entire big top show, complete with ringmaster introductions, clown antics, and expanded versions of the acts you've been practicing. Some acts are traditional circus fare (a high wire unicycle act, lion taming, and trained horse parade), while others are whimsically original (cow trampoline, monkey bandleader, and chicken stacking).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There are several circus games for the Wii, but Playmobil Circus stands out among them all. There's real originality and creativity in the way the acts are presented and performed, and many surprisingly humorous cut scenes. There's enough of a difference between the practice rounds and the performance rounds that making it to the big top show feels like a real payoff. And perhaps most important of all, the controls are  well designed (something which many other circus games can't claim as a benefit). The option to play cooperative or competitive multiplayer is a very nice addition. And the visuals are smooth, crisp, and a lot of fun to see. The whole package has a wonderful, playful spirit and adds up to be a very enjoyable, family-friendly circus game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the value of practice, and how even if a skill doesn't come naturally, it can be learned. Once you've perfected an act in the game and can perform it in front of an audience as part of the full big top show, is it more fun? More rewarding?

  • Parents can also use this game as a reason to reiterate the old "don't try this at home" message.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Dreamcatcher
Release date:December 28, 2009
Genre:Mini-games
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Playmobil Circus was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 7 year old Written bybroarkschulz January 12, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

perfect for parent, teens, tweens and youngesters, but not for children under 5.

Talking to your child(children) about fantesy and reality is important. I think they need to know what is safe and unsafe. My son is 7 and he gets it. We love to play these games. And when my grandsons play the game; we discuss the values of the game. We all have enjoyed it.

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