ESPN Sports Connection

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
ESPN Sports Connection Game Poster Image
Modest collection of sports games is more fun with others.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

ESPN Sports Connection wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

Because this game is substantially more fun with multiple players, it encourages social interaction with friends and family. It may also help players think about getting up and playing sports outside, or participating in other physical activities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There is no narrative in this game, and there are also no characters to look to as role models. This game is purely about the sporting competitions.

Ease of Play

It is very easy to just pick up this game and start playing. The real challenge comes in playing against friends and family and trying to perform better than them. There are some sports that are more designed as single-player games, like golf, but the learning curve and level of difficulty are very low.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ESPN Sports Connection is a compilation of various sports mini-games -- football, soccer, baseball, golf, and kart racing. Most of these, especially the kart racing game, are designed to be played with multiple players. The others are either for two players at a time, or in the case of golf, one player. The golf mini-game can utilize a second player as a caddy, who helps line up the shots with the GamePad. All games can be played in single-player mode, but they are obviously designed to be more fun and engaging with multiple players. There is no objectionable content in this game.

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What's it about?

ESPN SPORTS CONNECTION is a collection of six sports mini-games: football, tennis, soccer, golf, baseball, and kart racing. Although there is a single-player option for all of the games, these mini-games are obviously designed to be played with multiple people playing together in the same room. The varying mini-games provide different multiplayer concepts; for example, the golf game tasks one player as the caddie, using the GamePad to help offer advice on the course and set up the shot for the player using with the Wii Remote. Others are more typical multiplayer fare, like the kart racing game, which allows up to five people (four with Wii Remotes and one with the GamePad) to play at once.

Is it any good?

ESPN Sports Connection can offer a fun experience if players are able to gather up multiple friends or family members to join in the fray. The single-player experience is admittedly flat, with no sort of unlockable rewards or other incentives to master the game when other players are not around. In fact, even with additional participants partaking in the mini-games, the level of fun only goes so far. For example, the kart racing mini-game offers a relatively bland series of twists and turns, which get boring after a while. In addition, the load times across all mini-games is frustrating. Players waiting to move on to the next mini-game can end up sitting around while the game sluggishly chugs along. In other words, ESPN Sports Connection isn't a bad game but neither is it  exciting or unique.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the power of social interaction that video games can provide. Why is this game more fun when played with friends and family?

  • Does this game make you interested in playing sports in real life?

  • Do you believe that practice makes perfect? What are other areas of your life where this concept can be applied?

Game details

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For kids who love playing sports and the Wii U

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