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Guinness World Records: The Videogame
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an interactive spinoff of the Guinness World Records books and television series, and that it might spark an interest in the Guinness World Records brand. It's filled with dozens of world record challenges most of which can be safely categorized as either juvenile (like throwing plungers at a woman on a spinning wheel and holding belches for as long as possible) or just plain gross (such as eating cockroaches, making skunks fart, or tossing cow dung). However, while the play may be crude, it's also pretty tame; the gags are obviously designed to entertain a tween-ish audience.Online connection is available for uploading your scores for bragging rights in your state, country, or around the world.
What's it about?
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: THE VIDEO GAME has players challenging achievements from the Guinness Book of World Records. It focuses on some of the stranger records documented by Guinness, including washing machine tossing, car balancing, and phonebook tearing. There are also some downright goofy and/or gross challenges, such as one that involves eating cockroaches and another that has player avatars smashing watermelons with their foreheads. These events are accessed by moving your character around a small globe and visiting the regions in which the records are held. The ultimate goal of the game is to beat the target marks for each event and unlock a wide variety of virtual goodies, including new outfits for your character, dozens of certificates, and interesting Guinness factoids.
Is it any good?
Despite its unlikely origin (how many video games are you aware of that are based on books of trivia?), Guinness World Records: The Videogame is actually a smartly designed and surprisingly entertaining play. The world record challenges are well-designed, fun, and unexpectedly physical. Don't be surprised if, after an hour of moving your arm back and forth rapidly to pop balloons, pushing the remote up and down to make a pogo stick bounce, and repeatedly flicking your wrist to toss plungers, you find yourself puffing -- and having a great time.
Unfortunately, the fun may last only a weekend or so. Avid players could burn through all of the game's activities and unlock most of its rewards in just a few days. Still, there's reason to keep at it thanks to online functionality that lets players upload their best performances and see how well they stack up against those of other people in their state, country, or around the world. These online standings suit the game's record-beating theme perfectly and motivate players to put in an extra hour or two of practice on their favourite events to see if they can land a place on their regional, national, or worldwide leaderboards.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the notion of world records, and what sort of achievements should qualify for the distinction. Is the fact that someone is proficient at breaking watermelons with his or her forehead reason enough to create an official record that others will aspire to beat? Do you think that some Guinness world records are simply too dangerous? Conversely, are there any safe records -- such as memorizing random items or achieving a high score in a well known video game -- that you think you might one day want to challenge? Are there things you can do now to help train yourself?
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