What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Wii game costs a little more money than most because it comes packaged with its own Active Life Mat controller on which kids will run, jump, and sit as they play very active games. Expect to see a lot of sweat, hear a lot of laughter, and witness a lot of high-fives as kids work their way through this set of 16 innovative games. This is a great game around which to build a family game night because it offers both competitive and cooperative multiplayer action. Don't be fooled by the low age appropriateness; this is fun for everyone.
What's it about?
If you're looking for a game that will get your kids off the couch and active, then ACTIVE LIFE: OUTDOOR CHALLENGE is for you. Think of it as a Wii Fit for kids. Instead of using the Wii Fit Balance Board, Active Life: Outdoor Challenge comes with its own Active Life Mat, a DDR-type mat controller with orange and blue symbols on it. Kids hold the Wii remote in their hands and place their feet on the mat to play 16 high-energy games.
The 16 games vary greatly in how you play them. Some use just the mat controller, whereas others add in use of the Wii remote. Sometimes you jump on the mat, other times you run, and in one, you even sit on the mat and lean from side-to-side. As examples, you kayak by swinging your arms and stepping on the mat to direct your boat; you jump rope or trampoline by timing your jumps on the mat; you sprint by running on the mat and in some races even leap over hurdles or logs; you slide down the inside of a pipe by sitting on the mat and leaning so that you go up the side of the pipe to collect speed boosts; and you soar down the side of a mountain on a boogie board by using a "goofy feet" stance where you switch your feet around a lot.
Is it any good?
This is a great game for kids and families. Not only are the games fun, but they can be played in a variety of ways. In solo mode, kids can approach the games as an adventure, as exercise training, or as just fun. When playing with a friend, kids can play competitively or cooperatively. During competitions, both kids stand on the mat side by side, and watch a split screen of what's happening. But it's with the cooperative games that things get even more interesting. In one game, two kids cooperate to rock climb through a waterfall. One kid stands on the mat to jump from one watery outcrop to another, while the other kid holds the Wii remote horizontal and simulates lifting the friend up as he or she jumps. What's cool (and kind of amazing) is that one kid can't do this alone. The two really do have to work at coordinating their motions or they won't make it up the waterfall.
The game can keep track of how active you are and even suggest which games will workout specific parts of the body. But don't worry, the game never deviates from what it does best -- providing a fun way to play games that make you move. This is the first in the Active Life series -- we can't wait for the next one.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about which game they like best. Do you see yourself improving the more you play a specific game? Which do you like better, the cooperative or the competitive games?