A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game focuses on taking pictures of animals and learning about them. It has themes of conservation (players snap pictures rather than remove animals from their habitat) and environmentalism. The editor to whom players send photos looks a bit mean and occasionally scolds when he doesn’t like a picture, but he never says anything much harsher than “it’s not good.”
Positive Role Models
The player’s young avatar -- which can be male or female, depending on player preference -- is an animal lover. The robot that drives the island jeep and provides instruction is a bit of a know-it-all, but helpful and well-intentioned. And the photo editor, though a little cranky and very businesslike, seems to be a decent enough man.
Ease of Play
Accessible controls let players use the Wii remote’s infrared eye to point at objects of interest, then use the nunchuk control stick to move the camera around. A quick tutorial at the start of the game explains all the basics.
Violence & Scariness
One scene involves a torch used to scare away hyenas.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Animal Kingdom: Wildlife Expedition isn’t scary or violent and that it can actually teach kids quite a bit about animals. When photographed, each creature gets its own file in an animal encyclopedia. This file contains plenty of basic information about each animal's height, weight, and diet, trivial tidbits that explain what makes it unique in the animal kingdom, and even a recording of the sounds it makes. What’s more, the game features themes of conservation (animals are simply photographed rather than removed from their natural habitats) and environmentalism (players clean up debris as they drive around), and our avatar is never anything but courteous, kind, and caring. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Animal Kingdom: Wildlife Expedition.
Is It Any Good?
There’s not much to Animal Kingdom: Wildlife Expedition, but what’s here ought to prove plenty of fun for animal-loving kids. The animals animate and behave fairly realistically, and it’s fun to earn their trust by inching a bit closer each day. Plus, the fun facts in the animal file are just the right length to relate a couple of bits of information you didn’t know about impalas and elephants without bogging down the action.
What you won’t get from the game is a lot of variation in play. Kids end up doing the much the same thing day after day, with the only excitement coming in the form of newly discovered animals and the occasional fresh item, like a squall machine that can change the weather to draw out particular kinds of animals. Thankfully, its bargain price of $29.99 means we can still give parents a green light to check out this fun and educational Wii game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.