A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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?
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Science: animals, life cycle
- Skills: Collaboration: meeting challenges together
Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, investigation
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: September 18, 2012
- Genre: Edutainment
- Topics: Wild animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Blood, Mild Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.