Animal Genius (DS)
What parents need to know
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.
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.
Families can talk 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?