A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that JONAS is a musical adventure game based on the Disney Channel TV show of the same name. While in real life, Nick, Joe, and Kevin (aka The Jonas Brothers) are very likeable, and the characters they play on the TV series are also very personable, the dialogue spoken here doesn't do them justice. The game makes them come across as spoiled pop stars. While the ability to play and control each of the three famous brothers will have great appeal to fans of the Jonas Brothers band, this game just isn't all that much fun to play. It also has an uncomfortable play mechanic of having to constantly sneak past fans or else they attack the brothers and rip their clothes off, leaving them standing in their underwear.
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What's it about?
JONAS is based on the Disney Channel TV series of the same name which stars Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers band) playing the parts of the Lucas brothers. As in the TV show, the game follows the life of these brothers as they try to balance pop star fame with real life. You must play through the game's story mode to unlock a music performance mode and mini-games. In the story mode, you steer the three brothers through episodes of their daily lives, solving problems along the way. The shtick here is that as you wander through their firehouse home, high school, and other places, the guys can collect musical notes from anything that makes noise. When their music meter is full, the guys can use the power of music to solve problems like unlocking doors barring their way or waking up a sleeping brother. The game includes simple exploring, jumping, and platform puzzling, as well as performance sections where you play musical chords by matching finger positions shown on the DS directional pad as you strum across the touch sensitive DS screen. Part of the game play involves changing the brothers outfits.
Is it any good?
On the surface, it sounds like a game that has promise: a story about a widely popular band, music games featuring their music, and mini-games. But it isn't anything special. The story mode is superficial, full of inane dialogue including whining about not being able to use their limo or private jet because they are trying to "keep it real." It includes uncomfortable gameplay like having to walk to school while avoiding overzealous fans who tear the brothers' clothes off. The music games are, at times, too easy, and then become too hard. And the minigame of washing dishes, just doesn't fit.
Fans of the Jonas Brothers band are loyal, and for them, just getting to interact with cartoon versions of Nick, Joe, and Kevin on their DS is enough. They will like playing the musical games to some of the hit songs from the TV show including "Keepin It Real" and "Live to Party." And dressing up their favorite pop stars in clothes typical of what they wear will also appeal to tween girl fans. On stage and in their TV show, the Jonas Brothers natural likeability comes across, but unfortunately, with this written dialogue, it is missing. Rent this one before you buy it.
Online interaction: This game uses D-Gamer where kids can log on to this special site, create an avatar, and chat with friends. Parents can control the level of chat and open chat is only available between friends who are also friends in real life.
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For kids who love music games
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