A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mario Kart 7 is the latest installment in Nintendo's long-running racing series. The action is all very cartoony, but be aware that magical weapons (along the likes of turtle shells, banana peels, and ink blots) can be used against opponents. No one ever appears to get hurt in the game. There is online play, and the game will set you up with random opponents if you want, but those people should never see more than a screen name and there is no online chat. Also remember that Nintendo suggests children under the age of 7 do not play the game in 3D, as the effects can damage developing vision.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
MARIO KART 7, like all the Mario Kart games before it, pits the famous plumber brothers against their video game friends and enemies in a series of races through a cartoony fantasy world. There are new elements here, such as gliders to help you fly farther after a jump and the ability to drive underwater (and 3D graphics, of course). And a number of new courses as well. But this is very much the same Mario Kart experience players have come to expect.
Is it any good?
Mario Kart 7 is just as fun, fast-paced, creative, and generally enjoyable as all of its predecessors. But should it have been better? After a series has been around for this long, it could probably benefit from a real shake-up. That's not what you get here. Make no mistake, this is a very good game. The gliding and underwater driving are great additions. And it's nice that the Nintendo server will set you up with opponents who are around the same skill level as you. But if you've played previous Mario Kart games, you've already got the basic drift.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competitive gaming. How can you play to win against friends and family members (or even strangers) and still show good sportsmanship? Can you still be sportsmanlike in a game that allows you to use sneaky weapons to get ahead?
They can also talk about how to set screen time limits. Why is it important to not spend too much time playing video games.
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