Paws & Claws: Marine Rescue

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Paws & Claws: Marine Rescue Game Poster Image
Veterinarian simulation game has positive role models.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In addition to the overall message of taking care of animals -- which is common in many pet simulation games -- this game has an especially positive tone because it puts players in the position of veterinarian. Players are taught how to treat animals in need of help, and are rewarded by bringing them back to good health.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As a veterinarian, it is the player who is the ultimate role model in this game. Patients look up to the player to solve their problems and restore all animals' health. There are no antagonists or anti-role models in the game, as it is exclusively focused on the positive role of helping animals.

Ease of Play

The game is designed to be accessible to young and old players. Complex medical treatments are drilled down to basic on-screen instructions. For example, to apply medicine or lotion, players simply tap an icon and rub the affected area. Text appears to guide players through the entire process, and if players make a mistake, the game waits for them to get it right. It is not possible to mess up a treatment or to further harm an animal in any way.

Violence & Scariness

Players will come face-to-face with injured animals, but the point of this game is to treat their ailments, and they are never able to cause harm to any of the creatures in the game.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Paws & Claws: Marine Rescue is a veterinarian simulation game, designed as an easy-to-play game for players of all ages. Players treat various marine animals on-site at a marine clinic. The game involves diagnosing the animal's symptoms, figuring out the underlying cause, and then following treatment instructions. Once an animal is properly treated, it is released back into the wild. Players get to see a variety of aquatic creatures and find out about the day-to-day operations of being a veterinarian.

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What's it about?

PAWS & CLAWS: MARINE RESCUE puts players at the heart of a marine animal clinic. It is up to the players to not only diagnose the animal's ailments, but also figure out what the problem is and to apply to proper treatment. The game is simplistic in its execution, but deep in its message. Players learn all about different marine wildlife, and how difficult it is to take care of a pet. All of the ailments in the game are conditions that animals in real life could have. The treatments are basic and don't fully represent how difficult it is to bring a sick pet back to health, but it does teach players that it is important to keep good care of their pets and there are a lot of potential afflictions that animals can receive.

Is it any good?

Paws & Claws: Marine Rescue is clearly targeting a very specific group: animal lovers. Players who fantasize about being a veterinarian will no doubt enjoy this game, as it takes them through the processes of diagnosing an animal all the way to treating it. It does so in an engaging way, and keeps players entertained with the on-screen controls and "mini-game" feel of the operations. Those looking for a virtual pet game or any sort of animal adventure game won't find that here, but players who really care about animals will very much appreciate the game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how games can be used as teaching tools. What did this game help you learn about taking care of a pet?

  • What are the differences between a virtual pet and a real pet?

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: January 25, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)

For kids who love animals

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