What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Invizimals is a Pokemon-like monster collection and battle game, but that it is geared for a slightly older audience (one of the Invizimals has a flatulence attack). As with the Pokemon games, players may receive mixed messages about how to treat the creatures they find; they’ll train, care for, and learn about them before pitting them in combat against other monsters. There’s also a subplot about nogoodniks who would use the Invizimals for evil purposes.
What's it about?
A decidedly original take on the oversaturated monster collection and battle genre, INVIZIMALS uses the PSP camera attachment -- included in the box -- as a means of catching critters you can’t see under normal circumstances. Players pan the camera around their environments until they find one, then place a physical card that comes with the game in that area to lock the creature in place. They then engage in a quick little mini-game -- fixing the centre of the camera on the monster’s eyes or swatting it when it lands on the card -- to capture it. They can use the monsters in battles against those captured by other Invizimal masters around the globe.
Is it any good?
Invizimals can be loads of fun, especially if you can get up and move around your environment to go looking for new monsters and have a good flat area on which to set up your card for fights. The combat is complex enough to offer a challenge even to veterans of the monster battler genre, and the Invizimals are a highly diverse lot with interesting little personalities that come through both while being captured and in battle.
The only thing that may turn off some players is the narrative. Set in the real world using real actors, the game’s story features an awful lot of lengthy scenes that are a mix of cornball humor and overly dramatic acting. It’s the sort of thing most people will either love or hate. If you happen to love it -- and you also have a passion for monster battling games -- then there’s every reason to believe you’ll have a blast with Invizimals.
Online interaction: This game supports head-to-head online play against one other opponent. There is no communication; players simply pit their Invizimals in fights against each other or trade items that they’ve collected.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the mixed messages kids might receive from monster collection games. Are there any creatures in the real world that you would collect and care for before making them battle one another? Why might it be okay to do this with fantasy creatures in games?
Families can also discuss the idea of melding game worlds with the real world via a camera. Do you find these games to be more immersive? Do you sometimes catch yourself thinking that the creatures that appear to be on your carpet or table as seen through the PSP’s screen are actually existent? Can you think of other ways this sort of technology might be applied outside the world of games?