Kinect Nat Geo TV

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Kinect Nat Geo TV Game Poster Image
Nature-themed interactive TV software puts kids in the show.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational value

Kids can learn about a wide range of animals in this fun and educational interactive TV series. Players will be taught about the behaviors, diets, habitats, and proclivities of mountain lions, wolverines, different types of bears, owls, and other animals as they watch television-quality, kid-focused documentaries. They'll also glean an understanding of how these animals fit into our modern world, and see how humans are helping certain species propagate and thrive. Kinect Nat Geo TV was crafted with the intent to educate, and it does a terrific job revealing facts about animals to kids in an entertaining way. 

Positive messages

This interactive, educational television program encourages an interest in wild life by showing animals in their native habitats. It promotes naturalism by making observation of and interaction with animals seem exciting. It also discusses animal conservation.      

Positive role models & representations

The show's host, Casey Anderson, clearly enjoys his job and is passionate about the animals he interacts with. He espouses caution when dealing with more dangerous creatures, but draws kids in with his genuine curiosity about nature. He's a fine figure for aspiring naturalists to look up to.

Ease of play

Observant kids should have no problem snapping pictures of animals and answering quiz-style questions about animal behavior. Some of the game-like activities are trickier, requiring quick and precise movements in order to score well. But kids can't fail any of the activities; the show always progresses, regardless of player performance.

Violence & scariness

Animals are occasionally depicted hunting prey and eating carcasses. Kids will see dead animals, including a moose's body with a bit of blood on the snow surrounding it and the bones of small animals regurgitated by owls. Mini-games see kids playing the role of animals, using their paws, claws, and wings to swat away wolves, snakes, magpies, and the like attempting to steal their meals or get at their young. These mini-games do not depict blood or death. Defeated animals simply back off the screen.

Language
Consumerism

This game is an offshoot of the Nat Geo Wild channel.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kinect Nat Geo TV isn't a game so much as an interactive version of the sort of television programs found on the Nat Geo Wild channel. It features a host following animals in the wild, observing and commenting on their behaviors. It includes some violence in the form of animals in the act of hunting and eating prey. Kids will see carcasses, bones, and a bit of blood. Such scenes are brief and presented respectfully, as a natural facet of animals' lives. These segments have resulted in an ESRB rating of E10+, but parents know their kids best. If your children have a passion for nature, an interest in animals, and a basic understanding of circle-of-life concepts, they may be ready for this software at a much younger age.

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What's it about?

KINECT NAT GEO TV is a series of eight interactive TV shows hosted by naturalist Casey Anderson. He takes players on trips from Yellowstone Park to Alaska, providing an up-close look at animals including mountain lions, grizzlies, owls, wolves, and more as they live their lives in the wild. As the show progresses, kids yell out the word \"snap\" to take pictures of animals and \"tracks\" when they see paw prints to initiate mini-segments that culminate with little quizzes about animals behaviors. Also scattered through each episode are mini-game challenges that depict kids as animals in the wild defending their young and fending off predators with their paws and horns. The game also includes a one-year season pass to the Nat Geo app on Xbox Live, where kids have access to additional Nat Geo content.

Is it any good?

It may not be a game in the traditional sense, but kids with a passion for animals are likely to fall in love with this series of adventures into the wild world of owls, bears, and other creatures. Each show packs in interesting information and compelling video of animals in their natural environments. And kids are frequently involved in the action. Rarely do more than a couple of minutes pass before the software calls on players to pop a few pictures of animals or recall what they've learned by answering questions in quick quizzes. Plus, fun games -- such as one in which kids play the role of a wolverine dodging avalanches, then digging out food and defending it from other animals -- put the game's lessons into context and help drive home information kids have picked up along the way. The activities can become a little repetitive, but the overall experience remains fresh thanks to each episode's focus on different species. Kids will have a blast, and learn something in the process.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about animals. What animals do you like best? Are you afraid of any of the animals shown in this software? Would you like to become a naturalist when you grow up?

  • Families can also discuss the food chain among animals. It's okay to feel sad when animals hunt, kill, and eat other animals. It's also important to understand why it is necessary and the good that comes of it. In what ways can the death of one animal benefit other animals?

Game details

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