Discovery Kids: Spider Quest

Common Sense Media says

Kids collect and play with creepy crawlers in pet sim game.

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids collect and study the behavior of spiders, scorpions, and snakes; control the environment of their vivariums; and help a scientist create anti-venom through mini-games.

Positive role models

The Scientist Mina and Adventurer Blake are positive role models for kids in that they are striving to create a museum that will teach people about spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Players are asked to help by capturing specimens, taking care of them, and creating anti-venom for medical purposes.

Ease of play

With simple instructions and use of the stylus, kids will pick up the controls of this game very quickly.

Violence

When trying to capture venomous spiders or snakes, the player can be "stung" with a graphical depiction of the screen flashing red or slash marks appearing for a few moments on the screen. When spiders encounter enemies such as other spiders or scorpions, they can follow combat commands and perform battle moves that are designed by the player.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an adventure game from the Discovery Kids line of pet simulation video games.  While not an educational title per se, kids will learn interesting facts about spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Since kids will spend lots of closeup time with these creatures, kids who don't like spiders and such, might want to steer clear of this game.

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What's it about?

In DISCOVERY KIDS: SPIDER QUEST, kids are asked to help a famous scientist named Mina set up her new museum by capturing spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Mina also asks kids to create vivariums and care for the spiders by setting the ideal temperatures and humidty for each species. Kids will feed their spiders and help create anti-venom for medical purposes. To accomplish these goals, players travel to different spots in the world to collect five different spider types, including the red kneed tarantula and the black widow, as well as two species of scorpions. These creature habitats are as dangerous as their inhabitants and kids will be dodging obstacles, running away from dangerous animals, as well as capturing venomous creatures.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Younger kids just learning to read will need a little help with this game as there are no voice overs and all instructions are presented in text. Also words such as "Hygrometry" and "Vivarium" may need to be explained. The creepy critters in the game are not simply creepy-crawlies, they are also venomous and kids are taught how to "handle" them with the stylus. The game makes use of both the stylus and the microphone and offers a nice variety in the mini-games so that kids will be entertained. The spiders will attack other creatures that stand in the way of their food and kids choose attacks and play a mini-game in targeting their opponents. As a semi-pet simulation, the game is simple and a refreshing departure from the cat and dog pet simulation games that dominate the market. Kids fascinated by creepy crawlies now have a safe virtual way to keep them in their pocket.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of venomous creatures and identifying which spiders are dangerous and which are not. What can happen if you are bitten by a poisonous spider?

  • Families can also talk about setting time limits and needing to rest. Why is staring at something for long periods of time harmful to your eyes? Why does your hand cramp up when holding a game console for long periods of time?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:505 Games
Release date:November 18, 2009
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:E for Mild Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Discovery Kids: Spider Quest 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; 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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