Medieval Games

 
Mini-games with a control scheme only an ogre could love.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A baron's homely daughter, who hopes to win a beauty contest and marry the prince, is the butt of much mockery because of her looks.

Positive role models

The characters are all over-the-top caricatures of fairy tale archetypes, and as such they don't display the most positive of personal attributes. There's a whole lot of boasting and vanity from these folks, all meant to be humorous.

Ease of play

This game is unnecessarily hard to play. The difficulty of the controls varies between minigames, but some of it is outrageously difficult. Medieval Games also features some of the most counter-intuitive movement controls (in any of the minigames that actually require your character to run around) on the Wii.

Violence

Swords, maces, and lances are used against either other players or fantasy monsters, like ogres and dragons. Characters hit by such weapons yell things like, "Ouch!" and "That hurt!" but no one is killed. The most damage done to anyone is being knocked down. Players can also slap other players across the face to initiate a duel. Players are sometimes comically launched from a catapult to move to another place in the game world. Cows are also used as weapons, launched from catapults at opponents. One of the characters is an executioner. His profession is never mentioned, and he carries no axe (though he makes reference to it), but his job is obvious from his outfit.

Sex

There is some off-color humor, mostly coming from animals -- such as a pig waving its bottom at the camera.

Language

Medieval-themed smack talk, but nothing profane.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while the design, setting, and accoutrements of Medieval Games are farcically fun, like the Shrek movies, the gameplay itself leaves much to be desired. Kids could easily get discouraged and quit the game. For children who can get past that, though, Medieval Games does tap into a lot of elements that fantasy-loving children enjoy. The fighting in the game is cartoonish as worst. There's also much ado about beauty as the prince seeks a bride and the king holds a pageant from which a new wife will be chosen.

Parents say

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What's it about?

While essentially a collection of sword-and-sorcery-themed mini-games, MEDIEVAL GAMES also contains three storybook "board games." Players roll dice and move around a gameboard, a la Mario Party, playing the mini-game directed by the space they land on. Each of these storybook games tells a chapter of the main story: The prince of Veloria is required by law to marry, so his father the king sets up various festivals and tournaments, through which he plans to find him a suitable bride. The mini-games try to hit as many fairy-tale staples as possible. Some examples include, using a battering ram, archery, sword dueling, jousting, dodging an ogre's hammer, mixing potions, and wrestling pigs (okay, that last one's not much of a staple).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There is potential for Medieval Games to be a fun party experience, but only when the mini-games are played individually. That way, players can avoid the ones with near-unusable controls. Unfortunately, many of the games need to be unlocked through playing the three "board games." The biggest problem with the board games is repetition. Each one uses only 3 or 4 of the minigames, meaning the players end up racing horses or shooting arrows at fruit over and over again in the course of a single game. It's probably best to try the game first with a rental, to see if you're intrigued enough to want more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the use of caricatures in the game. Are these characters realistic in any way? Can you relate to them? Do you think we're meant to admire these characters, or laugh at them?

  • Parents can also discuss good sportsmanship. When playing with others, how can you be competitive and still be a good friend?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Vir2L Studios
Release date:October 21, 2009
Genre:Mini-games
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii)

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old June 14, 2010
age 10+
 

Not good for everyone.

First of all, LOVE IT!!! It's a little hard to play but after a while it's good. My sister (who is 6) likes to watch me do it. There are minner insalts such as: "You need me more than I need you!" From a player when you pick them but whatever. It's fun to play once your use to it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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