Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers is a Facebook social game that combines hidden object and zoo sim gameplay, and contains positive messages of animal conservation and environmental awareness. The game is free to play, but players can spend real-world cash on premium currency to speed up the game and unlock exclusive scenes and items. Friends are required to help complete certain quests and habitats, which may tempt players to "friend" strangers on Facebook. This game could appeal to kids as young as 8 -- especially given the Disney connection -- however, they will not be able to play it since Facebook has an age gate of 13.
What's it about?
In DISNEY ANIMAL KINGDOM EXPLORERS, players are part of a nature conservation team tasked with studying animals and their habitats. The team goes on expeditions to locations such as Africa, the Rainforest, and the Rocky Mountains, where players complete hidden object searches to earn coins and experience. Players use coins to build their own wildlife reserve by adding animals, flora, and decorations. Adding animals to the reserve earns points that unlock more hidden object areas to explore, and advances the story.
Is it any good?
It's a shame that Facebook's 13-year-old age gate prevents younger players from enjoying Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers, because it's both fun and educational. Players are introduced to a variety of exotic wildlife -- and even if you don't know what a "kinkajou" is, you can click on a hint to see a picture and a brief description. The story is a strong point, featuring a diverse cast of characters and plot twists that tackle serious issues like poaching and deforestation. (Unfortunately, if you want to see how each episode resolves, you'll have to pay to unlock the final scene in each chapter.) Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers boasts polished production values, too, with graphics and sounds that bring both the hidden object scenes and the animal habitats to life.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Facebook's privacy settings, and why it's important not to give strangers full access to your Facebook profile, wall, and photos.
Families can also talk about animal habitats and their conservation. What are the consequences if certain species of animals and plants die out permanently?