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 game based on the world created in Club Penguin.com. Similar to the Web site, you create a penguin avatar to represent you as you waddle through this mission-based game. This DS game has a direct tie-in to the Web site because kids can transfer the coins they earn in the game to their account online via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You can also download the newest Club Penguin newsletters, vote in polls, and download additional missions as they become available. Plus, the game contains a secret code for use on the Club Penguin Web site which will unlock secret items online. The age appropriateness of 7 years reflects that there is a lot of reading required to play this game. However, if parents want to play with their young children, this game offers a way for a parent to be the Command Coach, highlighting areas to explore.
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What's it about?
The snow covered world of the mega popular Club Penguin Web site is now available for exploration on the Nintendo DS in CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE. Kids enter this world as a penguin, join a super secret, elite spy force called the Elite Penguin Force (EPF), and then go on 13 missions, solve 10 mysteries, and help other penguins in this world. As you become more skilled as a secret agent, you earn gadgets to use to help you complete the missions
Most of the gameplay utilizes the Nintendo DS stylus, but some of it also makes use of the microphone. Within the missions, kids will also experience minigames like snowboarding where to make your penguin do tricks, you trace patterns on the touch-sensitive screen. In addition to the mission-based play, the game also offers six minigames as a separate event.
Is it any good?
This is a fabulous Nintendo DS game, regardless of whether you are an online Club Penguin fan. The secret agent theme, delivered with a quirky sense of humor, makes completing the missions intriguing and hilarious. You can speak with penguins you meet, and if you help them with their problems, they will reward you with cool wardrobe additions or coins. The spy gadgets earned in the game, including a decoder and a two-way communicator, make the gameplay varied and interesting. Plus there are special Spy Puffles, little pet-like bundles of fur, who can help you in tricky situations. Another nice feature is a special Command Coach mode where a parent or older sibling can join in with a younger player to help them complete missions. By using two DS units connected wirelessly, the parent can serve as coach by circling areas to explore on his or her DS, and those hints then show up on the child's DS. It is a very clever addition to family gaming.
For fans of the Web site, this DS world is very similar in look and feel to what you find on the Web site. Favorite online Club Penguin games such as Cart Surfer, Jet Pack Adventure, and Ice Fishing are here. The familiar locations are also the here, but this world offers new expanded areas. However, you don't have to be a fan of the Web site to enjoy this game -- it stands on its own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this is a video game based on a Web site. Did you want to play this game because of your experience at the Web site? Did it live up to your expectation? Did it make you want to visit the Web site more, particularly when the game offers you a special code to unlock items in the online game? What do you think of this marketing ploy?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.