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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about subjects ranging from drawing and hygiene to logic and memory in this fun collection of mini-games. Maze challenges put youngsters' thinkers to the test while others force kids to recall pictures and location. Kids will practice their tracing skills in a quick draw challenge and think about oral hygiene while cleaning a shark's sharp teeth. Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition mini-games are meant for fun, but they do contain activities in line with subjects that kids study early in school.
This game contains some of the same themes as the movie, including friendship and perseverance, though the simplicity of the narrative and activities means they come in watered down form.
Positive Role Models
The cast, composed entirely of aquatic creatures, doesn't offer any realistic role models. Still, the characters strive to do right. Their objectives range from escaping danger to just having a bit of fun, whether it's batting a pearl into a clamshell or finding each other playing hide and seek. They certainly won't give kids any bad ideas.
Ease of Play
Most of the 30 or so activities are pretty simple, and they all come with detailed on-screen tutorials. However, there are a couple that might prove frustrating -- including one in which two fish friends attempt to swim against the current by latching themselves to rocks, which is largely dependent on luck.
Violence & Scariness
One mini-game involves floating mines that explode should the player's character -- a shrimp -- come into contact with them. No injuries are depicted (the character simply flashes when hurt), but the explosions cause heart icons to disappear. In another game the player's character -- a fish in a bag -- can get hit by cars on a busy street, again resulting in the subtraction of heart icons.
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Products & Purchases
This game is tied to the film's re-release in theaters.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition is a collection of simple mini-games suitable for kids as young as five years old. It has little in the way of iffy content -- fish can swim into mines in one game, but the resulting explosions just cause the player's character to flash for a few seconds -- and visual tutorials provide instructions for kids who may not yet be strong readers. Parents should note that the game coincides with the theatrical re-release of the film in 3D, and that kids who play the game will likely want to see the movie. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning all parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
Is It Any Good?
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition should prove entertaining to its target audience. Most of the mini-games are legitimately fun and offer just the right level of challenge for younger kids. Plus, the aquarium mode gives kids reason to keep playing in order to earn more credits to buy more fish and scenery items, creating good value for your gaming dollar. A couple of trickier games -- including one based mostly on luck in which kids have to tap moving rocks to slingshot through a current -- put a light damper on the experience at times, but you can expect little fans of the film to have a mostly happy time. Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition may be an updated re-release, but its arrival is well timed, especially since anyone who played the original will have long since outgrown it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.