A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Because this is a Kinect title, it encourages players to get up off the couch and move around. While it may seem difficult to capture the motions of swimming while standing up in front of a camera, this game does provide the same kind of aerobic exercise. In addition, the inclusion of Michael Phelps gives this game an incredibly strong message about going after your dreams and being able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Positive Role Models
Michael Phelps is the man who set a new world record and earned the most gold medals of any athlete at the 2008 Olympic Games. Michael Phelps appears throughout the game to encourage players and instill them with confidence and positive messages, making this title as much of a motivational tool as it is a fun and energetic game. That said, some parents will recall that Michael Phelps has not always been a positive role model. While he has made some questionable decisions in his personal life, this game emphasizes his championed and unprecedented status in the world of sports.
Ease of Play
The controls for this game can be a bit confusing at first, since players are trying to mimic the motions of swimming while standing up and not being immersed in water. Once players get the hang of it, it becomes a much more fluid experience; but the game is sometimes very difficult making it hard for players to win the gold. It is meant to be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Michael Phelps: Push the Limits is a swimming simulation game featuring Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps. It will indeed push the limits of players who feel the need to set new records and grab as many gold medals as possible. Players get to 'travel' to all kinds of pools and stadiums around the world and ultimately work to compete in the "Annual Games" against the best swimmers in the world. Although Michael Phelps has not always been a good role model in the press, in this game he appears as an inspiring athlete and encourages players along the way.
Is It Any Good?
Michael Phelps: Push the Limits follows in the footsteps of other Olympic athletes embracing the video game industry, but it poses many differentiating qualities. For starters, there are very few swimming games; it's a very different category than snowboarding games or even gymnastic games. Second, Phelps is very much a standout athlete (8 gold medals in 2008 plus 6 in 2004) and is able to provide an unparalleled level of inspiration. Add all of that to this intense, active, and get-up-and-move game, and you have an experience that feels energetic and motivational as much as it is fun and enjoyable.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.