Mission Migration

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Mission Migration Game Poster Image
Fly the skies as a bird to learn about migration patterns.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the migration patterns of birds, as well as about bird ecosystems as a whole. There are mini-games aimed at teaching kids about human and non-human hazards that birds face, from airplanes and pesticides to predatory creatures and adverse weather. By playing Mission Migration, kids can learn how birds interact with the environment, their migration patterns, and what can be done to help them.

Positive Messages

This game teaches players about the basic concept of bird migration. It scores points for its educational content in this regard. There is little in the way of a fleshed-out storyline, however. There is mainly a pattern of gameplay elements intertwined with text about how birds migrate.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The birds are the the stars of this game. Since there are no characters who guide players along, no one stands out as a specific role model.

Ease of Play

This game is an educational tool in the format of a video game. As a result, its focus is not really on providing a gaming challenge for players. Players will need to master a few basic controls to get through the gameplay elements, which include flying around obstacles and landing safely on the ground, but anyone with a minimal level of gaming experience should be able to complete the game without any issues.

Violence & Scariness

During some of the gameplay elements, it is possible for birds to become hurt. They can be hit by incoming planes, storm clouds, pesticides, etc. However, players can never inflict violence themselves.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mission Migration is a game sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Its goal is to teach kids about birds, including details about their migration patterns, as well as the threats that they encounter on a daily basis. Some gameplay elements involve avoiding objects like pesticides and airplanes, but the birds cannot die. If players fail, the birds simply "run out of energy" and they can try again. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written bybenjaminwaner May 13, 2017

Actually teaches children!

I have played this game before and while I already knew about migration and its hardships (I am an avid birder) I can say this game would be educational even fo... Continue reading

What's it about?

Kids are presented with information about birds, their migration patterns, and general details about their ecosystems as they play through mini-games that are loosely connected to this material. For example, there is an arcade-style mini-game where kids have to avoid crashing into airplanes and other hazards, which is not exactly a realistic depiction of the typical bird migration practice. However, these mini-games keep kids engaged and focused, which helps when the game interrupts the mini-games to present factual content.

Is it any good?

MISSION MIGRATION achieves its goal of presenting a worthwhile amount of information to kids without creating a boring experience. The mini-games are varied and interesting, and should hold the attention of anyone who plays through it. The game does feel a little detached at times, since the gameplay is only loosely connected to the educational material presented throughout the game. The learning material comes directly from the National Audubon Society, so it can be trusted. Kids are likely to learn something about the complex ecosystem and migration patterns of birds. Unfortunately, most of this learning is placed on top of the gaming, instead of being baked into the gameplay.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the balance of Earth's ecosystem. Do you think we will ever reach a point where birds will not be able to migrate properly because of obstacles that humans put in their way? What can we do to help ensure that doesn't happen?

  • Did you read all the facts that appeared in the game, or just focus on the mini-games? What information did you find to be the most interesting? 

  • Do you think the educational material could have been presented in a more fun and engaging way? If you designed the game, how might you have changed this aspect of it?

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Subjects: Science: animals, ecosystems, weather
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, logic, solving puzzles
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Available online? Available online
  • Release date: November 8, 2008
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love learning about the world

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