Imagine Soccer Captain

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Girl-centric soccer game has positive teamwork message.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Has very positive messages about teamwork and supporting friends. Some characters are overly competitive and come off as mean or rude, including one of the player’s teammates, but they all end up learning a lesson, either at the end of the game or later on in the story mode.

Positive role models

The player’s customizable character is a kind and generous girl who helps others on her team by encouraging them. The team’s coach, who is modeled and named after Olympic gold medalist Mia Hamm, is a positive influence on her players.

Ease of play

Very easy to learn. A quick tutorial in the guise of team trials teaches players everything they need to know to get going.

Violence & scariness

Not an issue.

Language

Some of the opposing teams hurl mild insults at the players’ team, saying that they will sting them or give them a butt-kicking.

Consumerism

Not an issue.

Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a sports-themed game geared for girls that features plenty of good role models and a very positive overall vibe. The player controls a member of a soccer team who is supportive of her teammates and is coached by a kind and encouraging virtual likeness of real-life Olympic soccer gold medalist Mia Hamm. Some competitors, including one on the player’s team, utter mild taunts and mean-spirited remarks, but they all end up learning a lesson, either at the end of the game or later on in the story mode.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • identifying emotions

Responsibility & Ethics

  • integrity
  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This soccer simulation makes the sport accessible and appealing for beginners, though it isn't authentic -- or challenging -- by any stretch. 

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about the sport of soccer, as well as sportsmanship and camaraderie. Team skill and fans increase as players work toward earning a slot in a professional league.

Support

Very easy to learn. A quick tutorial in the guise of team trials teaches players everything they need to know to get going.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • identifying emotions

Responsibility & Ethics

  • integrity
  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Kids can learn about the sport of soccer, as well as lessons about sportsmanship and camaraderie. It's not a spot-on recreation of the sport (only five players per team are allowed on the pitch, for example), but it provides young kids learning about soccer some basic information about the game, from corner kicks to passing strategies. The story also provides some good life lessons about how to be a gracious winner and a good loser, as well as the importance of being a team player. While not a realistic soccer sim, Imagine Soccer Captain teaches young kids soccer basics and what it's like to be on a team.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

What's it about?

A soccer game designed specifically for girls, IMAGINE SOCCER CAPTAIN places players in the shoes of a young soccer star whose appearance can be customized and whose skills slowly evolve as the game’s story mode progresses. Players interact with other members of the team, which is coached by a virtual representation of real-life Olympic gold medalist Mia Hamm, assessing their mood (which is affected by how they play) and encouraging them when they need their spirits lifted. Team skill and fans gradually increase with each win as players work toward earning a slot in a professional league. Along the way girls can customize the uniforms of each player on their team, choose their team’s colors, and alter their team’s name.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Imagine Soccer Captain isn’t an authentic soccer simulation by any stretch, but it does make the sport accessible and appealing for beginners. Teams are composed of only five players, which keeps strategy simple. And the mini-games initiated during shots on goal -- the shooter has to pick a spot to aim, then carefully slide the stylus up the screen toward it, while the goalie has to tap eight flashing boxes in rapid succession to block it – represent an innovative alternative to traditional, fast-paced, reflex-oriented sports game play.

But it’s not perfect. The most notable issue is lack of challenge. On the easiest skill setting the enemy team often won’t even take a shot at the goal, but instead, they simply pass the ball around waiting for players to intercept it. And while the harder difficulty amps things up a bit, competitive kids with a modicum of soccer experience will probably still find it very easy to walk all over the competition. Still, it’s good wholesome fun for soccer loving girls and a good fit for younger, less experienced gamers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of teamwork, both in sports and in life in general. Have you ever tried to encourage someone who needed a bit of help? Has someone ever supported you when you were experiencing difficulty?

  • Families can also discuss competitive spirit and what is required of a gracious winner. It’s good to strive to do your best and succeed, but how do you think others who were trying equally hard and lost might feel? Do you feel guilty celebrating when someone else is sad about losing? Can you think of anything that you might be able to do to make people who haven’t won feel better?

  • How important to you was it that Mia Hamm is featured in this game. Do all famous atheletes make good role models?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:August 10, 2009
Genre:Girl
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Mild Language (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Imagine Soccer Captain was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old June 24, 2010
 
horrible
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James March 14, 2010
 

Not just for girls...

Both of my kids are very into soccer. I enrolled them both last year, and they love it. So of course, we had to buy this game. Yes, they share one D.S., and sometimes they're not very good at it... But even my son loves to play it. It is easy to play and great for soccer techniques.
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written bydramaqueen100 September 6, 2009
 

any age that loves soccer

love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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