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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
- Subjects: Hobbies: sports
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions
Responsibility & Ethics: integrity, learning from consequences, respect for others
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
- 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
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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