Animal Genius (DS)

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Animal Genius (DS) Game Poster Image
Talking DS game is fun romp with animals.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

In the "Maze Munch" game, a game that teaches about the food chain, you can be a lion who pounces on zebras to devour them. No blood is shown and the zebras simply fade away, but the lion roars ferociously before he pounces.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is one of very few Nintendo DS games that actually talk to kids. They do not need to read to play this game, making it accessible to children as young as 4 but will be fun even for 10-year-olds. Parents of the youngest gamers should gauge their child's ability to play a game where a lion jumps on a zebra in a maze to devour it. There is no blood (the zebra just disappears) but the lion roars before it pounces. You can steer clear of this version of the "Maze Munch," choosing to play as a clownfish, skunk, or chameleon instead.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byrayshine September 28, 2010

Great for a first gaming experience

My son loves this game and is able to play all of the games as it asks the questions out loud. I would love to find another game similar to this for him as he e... Continue reading
Parent of a 5-year-old Written bytnjsmom April 9, 2008

Good introductory game for children

My 5 year old son loved this Nintendo DS game, but he acquired all 25 animals in three days. As this was his first "gaming" experience, it was not ve... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 29, 2011
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

What's it about?

ANIMAL GENIUS combines wacky animal facts, entertaining fast-paced animal games, and photorealistic graphics. The game is themed around earning 25 animals -- five animals to place in each of five habitats -- by playing games to accumulate points. Kids repeatedly play four fun games in any order they wish. After earning enough points, kids must correctly answer 10 questions about an animal before it is released into the featured habitat.

Is it any good?

Kids who love wild animals will enjoy with Animal Genius, an outstanding game for kids -- and parents will be excited as well, because this is one of the few truly educational titles for kids on the Nintendo DS. All directions, words, and identifications have voiceovers, so young kids who aren't yet reading can play. It is very rare to find a Nintendo DS game that talks to you.

A similar version of this game was released in 2006 for the Leapster. If you own Animal Genius (Leapster), this DS version is not all that different. But if you are new to this game, Animal Genius makes a great addition to any child's Nintendo DS library.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the 25 animals showcased in this game. How are certain animals the same or different? Which of the four games is your favorite to play and why?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Scholastic
  • Release date: September 25, 2007
  • Genre: Educational
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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