London 2012

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
London 2012 Game Poster Image
Average Olympics sim might get kids off the couch.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about Olympic sports and practice healthy body movement while playing this simulation of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The game introduces kids to several sports with which they may not be well acquainted, including gymnastic vaulting, kayaking, and platform diving. They'll learn the rules of these events, as well as basic information about their proper execution. Events that support motion control get players moving and give them a taste of what it might be like to, say, shoot a bow and arrow. London 2012 isn’t meant to be formally instructive, but its design facilitates basic learning of Olympic sports.   

Positive Messages

This simulation of Olympic events promotes the idea of achieving excellence in sports and feeling pride in one’s nation. Players who have and make use of Sony's PlayStation Move or Microsoft's Xbox Kinect peripherals will also engage in some healthy physical activity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's mute avatars don’t really have personalities, but through their actions they serve as fine models of people striving to achieve greatness in athletic competition.

Ease of Play

Each event has its own control scheme -- including motion controls for some -- but it rarely takes more than a try or two to figure things out. Plus, many of the events are similar, so players won’t always need to learn from scratch. That said, mastering events can prove quite challenging.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This game is a merchandising tie-in for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that London 2012 is a sports simulation of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. It encourages players to take pride in their country's athletes by competing under a national flag of their choice, and promotes physical exercise not just through the depiction of dozens of events but also the option of motion control, which gets players up off the couch. Some players could be frustrated by the need to learn new controls for each event. Parents should take note that an online mode provides support for open voice communication with strangers.

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What's it about?

LONDON 2012 offers players the chance to try dozens of events featured at the London Summer Olympics. Kids will compete in multiple events in the disciplines of archery, aquatics, gymnastics, shooting, and track and field, as well as several one-off sports, including beach volleyball, kayaking, cycling, table tennis, and weightlifting. Local modes allow players to work through a lengthy roster of events on their own or go up against friends and family in their living room in quick party play competitions. An online mode pits players against others online, letting them strive to improve the ranking of their chosen country by earning National Pride points. Some events offer players the option of motion control using a PlayStation Move or Xbox Kinect peripheral.

Is it any good?

Like most other Olympics simulations, the value of London 2012 will be greatest in the weeks immediately preceding and during the summer Olympics, with diminishing returns coming after the London games have completed. With the exception of table tennis and beach volleyball, the events are fun and competently designed, and the presentation -- including photo-realistic graphics and telecast-style commentary -- is surprisingly good. However, going for gold after all the medals have been handed out in London will likely seem a little anti-climactic.

Continued enjoyment will depend on the player's interest in key events. Kids into swimming may have fun coming back to the diving and speed competitions, which feature a broad range of styles with subtle differences. Ditto for fans of track and field, who've been given nearly a dozen decent events from which to choose. However, fans of Olympic sports not featured in the game -- equestrian, boxing, fencing, sailing, and basketball, to name just a few -- will likely lose interest sooner rather than later.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Olympics. What are your favorite events? Have you tried competing in these sports at school?   

  • Families can also discuss the idea of national pride. Why might it be good to feel pride in athletes competing for one's country? Can you think of any negative consequences that might come with overzealous or blind national pride?

Game details

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