A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fossil Quest: Champions is the sequel to Fossil Fighters, a Pokemon-inspired role-playing game where players excavate and revive special dinosaurs called "vivosaurs" and then pit them against other vivosaurs in turn-based battles. Players can use the DS's WiFi connection to compete in matched battles or upload a team to see how it stacks up against other human players. They can also download exclusive vivosaurs and quests. Up to four friends can connect locally to clean fossils together. There's some crude humor in reference to fossils of dinosaur droppings depicted as coils, and some mild violence in the form of dinosaur battles, but there's no blood.
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What's it about?
In FOSSIL FIGHTERS: CHAMPIONS, players divide their time between peacefully excavating and cleaning fossils (to revive the dinosaurs), to forming teams of dinosaurs to pit in combat against fellow Fossil Fighters, both informally, and in sanctioned tournament challenges. Players are encouraged to meticulously clean each fossil using the DS stylus as a hammer and drill because the more the fossil is cleaned, the more powerful the vivosaur will be. Fossil Fighters: Champions introduces new giant fossil rocks containing complete dinosaurs, and two-sided Odd Fossil Rocks, which add new challenges to the cleaning. There are more than 140 vivosaurs to discover, along with rare golden fossils that transform into new \"Super Evolver\" forms.
Is it any good?
"Pokemon with dinosaurs" is still an apt description for the Fossil Fighters franchise, but the fossil excavation and cleaning aspects are interesting enough to help set Fossil Fighters: Champions apart. Battles are strategic, and success relies on becoming familiar with each dinosaur's strengths and weaknesses. The dialogue in the game can be quite lengthy. However, unlike the original Fossil Fighters, where cleaning fossils became a repetitive experience because duplicate fossils were thrown away, in Fossil Fighters: Champions duplicate fossils are donated to the lab to earn "Donation Points" that can be traded in for rewards.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ethics of excavating dinosaurs to use them as fighters in competitions. How does this compare to real-world examples of humans using animals for sanctioned competitions, like horse- and dog-racing?
Parents can also talk about paleontology, using the game as a jumping off point to explore the field. Families could arrange a trip to the local museum to see some real dinosaur bones.
Families can also talk about how to manage time when playing a video game.
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