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American Girl: Mia Goes for Great
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a computer game based on an American Girl Doll. While the game play is easy enough for girls as young as 6, and the conversational prompts, once selected, are spoken aloud, you must be able to read to select them. Keep in mind your child's ability to read the dialogue in deciding her readiness to play this game. Mia St. Clair is a good role model for little girls because she is willing to work hard for a goal, take on a job to help her family's finances, and be nice to a girl who initially isn't nice to her.
What's it about?
AMERICAN GIRL: MIA GOES FOR GREAT is a puzzle adventure that follows 10-year-old Mia St. Clair, who's the virtual representation of one of the American Girl \"Girl of the Year\" dolls. The game follows Mia on her journey to become a competitive figure skater.
You control Mia by simply pointing and clicking (or by using the arrow keys) and will help her to prepare for her first two figure skating competitions. As Mia, you must select music, secure costumes, design programs that comply with the competitions' requirements, practice, and compete. To accomplish some of these goals you will need to talk with and help many of the town's inhabitants, including Mia's parents, her three brothers, friends, the town's librarian, her skating coach, and store owners. You can talk to each person by selecting conversational sentences from a drop-down menu of possible things to say. You have a backpack in which to keep things you find, and a diary that automatically keeps track of things you discover and generates a \"To Do\" list which helps you figure out what to explore next. Practicing skating is a timed game of hitting arrow keys as Mia tries new skating moves. The game also has two fun arcade-type minigames.
Is it any good?
Mia Goes for Great is a gentle, sweet computer adventure for girls. The game models good life lessons by having Mia prepare and work hard for a goal. She learns to handle and eventually win over the "mean" girl. When her family can't afford her new costume, she takes on a part-time job. The game also requires Mia to go to the library to research various questions; and the librarian will be heard reminding Mia that: "School is more important than sports."
The game is set against a beautiful backdrop of snowy landscapes and detailed interiors. However, this game suffers a little from presenting such a small world to explore. While girls won't get lost, they might get tired of returning to the same places over and over again. Also, the game does not automatically save when you quit; so make sure to actively hit "Save" so that you don't lose your game's progress.
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