Disaster Hero

Common Sense Media says

FEMA-sponsored game teaches about disaster preparedness.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game presents the message that no matter how young or old you are, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you in the event of a disaster.

Positive role models

The central character in this game is named Dante Shields, and he proves to be a very worthy role model. Players can easily look up to him as he encourages them throughout their missions and imparts wisdom about disaster preparedness.

Ease of play

The game has three levels of difficulty, aimed at providing a relevant and appropriate experience for kids ranging from 1st grade through 8th grade. Activities consist of both traditional video game-style mini-games that test hand-eye coordination and puzzle solving, and multiple-choice questions about disaster preparedness. Players don't need to be perfect; the game will coax them along even if they have trouble with the gameplay or the disaster questions.

Violence & scariness

While there is discussion about disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, none of it is violent or graphically descriptive in nature.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Disaster Hero is a free online game, developed in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was created to help teach kids what to do in the event of an emergency. It places emphasis on natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The educational content is the same as the information on FEMA's website; it is simply presented in a way that is more engaging and interesting to kids. They engage in various mini-games while taking quizzes about emergency preparedness. Players can choose their difficulty level, ranging from "Bronze" for kids in 1st to 3rd grade, to "Gold" for those in 7th and 8th grade.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • weather

Skills

Self-Direction

  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals
  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • moving beyond obstacles

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • group projects
  • meeting challenges together

Health & Fitness

  • preventing sickness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids engage in a series of mini-games that are only loosely connected to the educational content. However, there are sleek graphics, a captivating hero character, and a motivation to accomplish all the activities.

Learning Approach

Where this game excels is in providing kids with a sense of empowerment. If they complete the game, they will know the recommended steps for planning for, anticipating, and responding to a natural disaster.

Support

Disaster Hero offers three different levels of difficulty, from the 1st grade through the 8th grade. Kids are encouraged throughout the experience until they can complete each activity.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • weather

Skills

Self-Direction

  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals
  • achieving goals

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • moving beyond obstacles

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • group projects
  • meeting challenges together

Health & Fitness

  • preventing sickness

Kids can learn the basic steps of being prepared for, and responding to, a natural disaster. They learn to make a plan, have an emergency kit ready, know which disasters can and cannot be forecast ahead of time. Players learn to be aware of their geographic location and which disasters are most likely to affect them, and how to respond to warnings. They also learn basic first-aid practices for how to treat minor injuries. By playing Disaster Hero, kids learn to understand and be aware of possible natural disasters that can occur where they live.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

DISASTER HERO puts players in the position of a \"hero\" that sets out to conquer all major natural disasters. Players complete a series of activities, each of which is connected to a specific type of disaster. For example, players are shown two versions of the same room and must find which room is missing the appropriate disaster preparedness items (e.g., an emergency kit, extra food for their pets, a list of emergency contact numbers). After players complete the activities for each disaster, they receive a certificate that they can print at home, recognizing them as a \"Disaster Hero.\"

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For some of the activities in Disaster Hero, there is a disconnect between the gameplay and the educational content. Some mini-games, for example, focus on speed and award players for getting through it as quickly as possible rather than studying the disaster preparedness tips. There is also a lot of unnecessary dialogue during the intermittent story scenes and dialogue. Rather than using this time to educate players about disaster preparedness, there is a lot of talk about the fictitious sci-fi world in which the game is set -- talk that is neither captivating nor pivotal to the gameplay or the overall message of the game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their emergency preparedness plans. What is your family's plan will be in case of a natural disaster?

  • What disasters are most likely where your family lives?

  • Have you ever been frightened before during a storm or other form of natural disaster? What can be done to help you from being frightened in the future?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Legacy Games
Release date:February 13, 2013
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Superheroes

This review of Disaster Hero 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.

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools