A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
What's it about?
An updated version of a six-year old Nintendo DS game, FINDING NEMO: ESCAPE TO THE BIG BLUE SPECIAL EDITION contains about 30 activities best suited for kids between five and eight. Players begin by selecting a character from the Tank Gang (the fish caught in the aquarium in the film). Each begins his or her adventure by hopping into a water-filled bag and rolling around a maze that takes them from a house across a busy road and into the sea. Once in the ocean they get into additional escapades that take the form of mini-games. Players will tap fish as they scroll down the screen in a rhythm game challenge, attempt to capture fish on a line of seaweed and reel them back to safer waters, and even play hide and seek. Each activity earns kids credits that they can use to outfit a virtual aquarium (or sea floor) with fish and pieces of scenery.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about aquatic life. Are you interested in creatures like fish, crabs, coral, and other forms of sea life? Did this game teach you anything about marine animals that you didn't already know?
Families can also discuss the connection between movies and games. Do you like to play games based on movies? If so, is it because you enjoy the characters?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
- Subjects: Arts: drawing
- Skills: Self-Direction: self-assessment, self-reflection, set objectives
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, memorization, strategy
- Price: $19.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Disney Interactive
- Release date: September 11, 2012
- Genre: Mini-games
- Topics: Ocean Creatures
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.