Digging for Dinosaurs (DS)

Common Sense Media says

A fun and educational game for dino-loving kids.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Interest in science (and paleontology specifically) is encouraged through play.

Positive role models

The game serves as a good role model in the way it encourages young kids to be interested in science, and the energetic, invigorating narration helps a lot in that respect.

Ease of play

Everything from instructions to dinosaur facts is presented in both written and spoken forms. Some of the mini-games can actually be quite challenging, but there are three levels of difficulty on most of them.

Violence & scariness

Some mini-games involve dinosaurs fighting one another. In one, your dino will hit others to defend its eggs. In another, you will be a carnivore fighting against another aggressive dino. Damage to a dinosaur is depicted by a red "blast" icon appearing over the creature and a "health bar" depleting.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Digging for Dinosaurs is a fun and informative game that lets kids take on the role of both paleontologist and dinosaur. There are a few moments of violence during games in which a dinosaur must fight for its food or protect its young from predators, but nothing is depicted in a realistic or graphic manner.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

DIGGING FOR DINOSAURS starts off by putting kids in the shoes of a globe-trotting paleontologist. They can scroll a world map and choose where they want to dig for fossils (as long as they have enough points to enter that dig). Once they've used clever touchscreen controls to unearth a dino skeleton, they'll have access to that dinosaur's mini-game. By playing mini-games (like defending a nest against predators, flying between treetops, navigating a maze, hunting in the dark, or battling it out with another fierce carnivore) kids can earn more points that can be spent to access more digs. At the end, they can have a full dinosaur museum.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids who love dinosaurs tend to REALLY love dinosaurs, and those kids will also love this game. Digging for Dinosaurs is a great package, with a very neat touchscreen method for unearthing fossils and reconstructing skeletons. It's got loads of interesting dino facts, including some neat new tidbits that even your obsessive dino lover probably hasn't heard yet. And it's got a slew of exciting and challenging mini-games. The game is labeled as being for ages 5 to 8, but kids on the lower end of that range might have difficulty with some of the mini-games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why science is fun. Many kids may not even think of this game as science, but remind them that it is, and that exploring other realms of science can be entertaining as well.

  • Ask kids which dinosaurs are their favorites and why? Do they prefer the scary meat-eaters? Or the strong, armored plant-eaters that know how to defend themselves well?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Scholastic
Release date:October 26, 2010
Genre:Edutainment
ESRB rating:E for Mild Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Digging for Dinosaurs (DS) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byKaifi January 3, 2014
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Stupid Game!!!!

My little brother has this. The narrator talks like it is trying to talk to a three-year-old, and is one of those voices that are WAY to upbeat all the time. The "digging points" system is demented, and the mini games are incredibly stupid and repetitive to play. The facts are sort of interesting, but that's the only diamond in the vast ruff that's this game. The positive role models mentioned in the review aren't there, they just say these stupid encouragements. So I say, just give your kids Zoobooks about dinosaurs instead!

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