Bubble Guppies

 

Learning(i)

Cute but wordy preschool game has lots of activities.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Friends work together to achieve a goal. They seek to race cars for the fun of it, not for competition. The game also carries the overall message that learning can be fun.

Positive role models

The mer-kids of Bubble Guppies are generally cheerful, friendly, positive characters. A pair of fish may say, "That's crazy!" if you pick a particularly off-base answer. This only happens for the most obviously wrong choices (such as selecting a penguin in answer to "Which animal lives on a farm and says moo?") when one can assume the child was picking silly answers on purpose. 

Ease of play

All instructions are spoken aloud and are easy to follow. The only touchy bit is the driving; steering is tougher than it should be for a preschool game. You'll almost certainly hit obstacles while driving, but there are no consequences for doing so other than perhaps a little frustration.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on the Nickelodeon cartoon of the same name.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bubble Guppies is an educational adventure game based on the Nickelodeon cartoon of the same name. It's filled with mini-games that focus on early-learning concepts like colors, patterns, and basic preschool trivia (such as animal sounds and what different vegetables look like). The game culminates in a one-car "race," the steering on which may bother easily-frustrated children.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • patterns
  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • patterns
  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Kids can learn basic preschool concepts, such as names of animals and the sounds they make, colors and shapes, differences between city and rural areas, what different vegetables look like, and more. While almost all of the activities have a solid lesson behind them, some are not literal in their presentation. The story shows a cast of characters who are varied in gender and ethnicity working together to achieve a common goal. Bubble Guppies offers fun preschool learning, but its repetitive instructions, which can't be interrupted, hamper the experience.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

Kids say

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What's it about?

The BUBBLE GUPPIES are mer-people who, in this story, team up to build a racetrack for their car (don't ask why they drive cars underwater or how they operate the pedals without feet). They collect parts of the track by first helping out at a farm and then exploring a busy city, each area presenting them with matching, searching, and trivia challenges.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The best thing about the Bubble Guppies game is its variety. There are plenty of activities, all of which are very different from one another, including planting seeds, directing traffic, building a car, matching silhouettes, and more. And each of these activities has a nice educational lesson to it; the only one that really doesn't is the car racing at the end. The one big flaw in the game is the way it makes you wait through verbal instructions before performing any actions. This may not only rile up impatient kids, but it prevents them from acting on their own once they've gotten the grasp of a mini-game's rules.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether kids want to play this game because they have seen the TV show. How does this game serve to market the TV show?

  • Parents can also talk to kids about the difference between video game cars and real ones -- particularly how hitting something with your car in real life would be harmful (unlike in the game, where cars simply come to a stop when they encounter an obstacle).

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:2K Play
Release date:November 9, 2012
Genre:Preschool
Topics:Cars and trucks, Horses and farm animals
ESRB rating:EC for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS)

This review of Bubble Guppies was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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