My Hero: Firefighter

 
(i)

 

Kids get thrills and fire safety lessons at the same time.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Every episode in the game is followed by a PSA-style safety message, spoken directly to the player. These messages range from "never play with fireworks" to "remind your parents to have their chimney cleaned annually."

Positive role models

The title kind of says it all -- these guys are heroes. They risk their lives for others, but they always do so in a safe and responsible manner.

Ease of play

Steering the truck on the way to a fire is the most difficult part of the game. Luckily those segments don't last very long.

Violence & scariness

There's an inherent scariness in the fires that are seen throughout the game. Flames flicker and flash when you're fighting them, but explosions and endangered people are generally only shown in comic panel-type still pictures.

Language
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Consumerism
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Hero: Firefighter is a career simulation game puts kids in the role of a firefighter -- and into some harrowing situations in the process. The job of firefighter is inherently dangerous, so even though this game is aimed at younger children, parents should make sure their kids are capable of handling frightening fire imagery before letting them play. Outside of that, though, parents should know that this game is generally wholesome and pushes lots of very positive messages.

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What's it about?

MY HERO: FIREFIGHTER puts players in the role of a rookie firefighter, first training in proper use of hoses, axes, and oxygen masks, and then going out on real emergency calls. Players will douse flames, locate people trapped in smoky buildings, and even rescue a cat from a tree. An overarching story about misused fireworks connects the thirteen missions into one larger through-line.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids who fantasize about someday donning a red helmet and big rubber boots will find much to enjoy in the simulated firefighting of My Hero: Firefighter. All the essential elements are here -- using the ladder truck to rescue people from windows, breaking down doors to get to smoke-plagued people trapped inside buildings, and of course, using the fire hose. That last element appears most often in missions and is done quite well -- if you don't follow the instructions you received during training about the proper ways in which to attack a blaze, flames you douse will keep re-igniting before the entire fire is put out. The fire safety lessons that follow each mission are worked rather clumsily into the dialogue, but considering this is a game for young kids, the more obvious the moral, the better.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the game's many important fire safety tips, any one of which would be a worthy topic of discussion for parents and children. Use the game as a jumping off point for safety lessons.

  • Parents can also choose to discuss gender roles in relation to the game. This particular game is obviously marketed toward boys. Can a girl be a hero firefighter as well? Could a girl play this game?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Majesco
Release date:November 17, 2009
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:E for Mild Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of My Hero: Firefighter was written by

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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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