A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie-based adventure game is easy pick-up-and-play, making it perfect for tweens. Parents may need to help clarify in-game directions. While the game revisits the story from the movie, it adds new content for kids to explore. There's some fighting of enemies, but the main focus is collecting pieces to make useful gadgets.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids become Wilbur Robinson in MEET THE ROBINSONS, the video game related to the movie of the same name, which is based on the book by William Joyce. The game features many of the same characters and plots from the movie, but it takes place before Wilbur meets Lewis Robinson in the movie while Wilbur chases the bowler-hat guy in the time machine.
Players control Wilbur as he searches each location for items to build gadgets. The inventory items aren't very easy to find, so players will spend a large amount of time exploring. The main puzzles are inventory-based, but there are also puzzles where you move things around to get to certain areas, and a few platform-specific features that require running and jumping. Along with the adventure, there is a Mini game of Chargeball, which is a quirky version of the arcade game known as "Breakout."
Is it any good?
In the versions for the consoles and PC, the game is an adventure through time where the worlds are large and fun to explore, the enemies aren't too tough, and the game's look and atmosphere are similar to the movie. In the Wii version, panning the camera with the Wii remote isn't very easy and can be quite cumbersome at times. Also, while the missions and tasks are listed, the in-game directions are sketchy. Sometimes, especially in the beginning of the game, players will spend a lot of time wandering around an area wondering what to do next.
Despite these small annoyances, the game is fun to explore. The puzzles are well done and center on collecting items to build gadgets, which are then used as power-ups throughout the game. Parents may want to consider the Gamecube version rather than the Wii version -- it's much cheaper and can be played on the Wii with a Gamecube controller.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the responsibilities that family members have to one another. Is it important to help solve problems that affect the entire family? If the problem is difficult, should you solicit and listen to helpful advice? Would you like to be an inventor? Would you invent wacky things or useful things?
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