What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that PETZ FANTASY SUNSHINE MAGIC is part of a two-game set (the companion title is Petz Fantasy Moonlight Magic) that allows young players to raise pets on their Nintendo DS. In this virtual world, players are trying to keep the fantasy Petz secret from their parents. The flipside is that players are required to care for the pets, paying attention to cleaning, feeding, and entertaining the pet. The title is actually a series of mini-games that are often repetitive, but have rewards in place. It is a game that should delight younger players with the overall tone and look.
What's it about?
In PETZ FANTASY SUNSHINE MAGIC, players can collect up to 20 pets to play with, feed, and clean. They can also enter a Magical World where they can play mini-games to earn enough points to attain a gold medal and unlock another Petz. There are costumes to dress the Petz in, and new skills to unlock that make the mini-games more challenging. The skills fall into four categories: fire and ice (both used in launching missile attacks in the mini-games), speed, and flight (used in racing-style mini-games).
Is it any good?
The creatures are definitely cute and the game is kept light and easy. The only areas where the game tends to bog down is when trying to find a way to register the game and redeem codes online. Petz Fantasy Sunshine Magic is definitely for younger players and that age group may not mind the repetitious nature of this title. This is a wash-rinse-repeat style of game that will slightly increase the challenge of the mini-games, but still keeps its target audience firmly in mind. The focus seems to be on making certain young players succeed and enjoy caring for these fantasy Petz. There is a companion title with 20 different Petz called Petz Fantasy Moonshine Magic.
Online interaction: Players can go online to redeem codes to unlock new costumes for the Petz, but the DS could not connect to the Web site to either register the game (and parents will need to register with the Petz page at Ubiworld.com in order to access the various elements) or redeem the codes. The process is not easily accomplished.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about responsible behavior, such as caring for pets, and irresponsible behavior, such as doing things secretly that have not been approved by parents.
Families can also talk about how some games are actually promoting a product line.
They can talk about understanding the limits on the time spent playing games
They can also discuss Internet safety and, in particular, why kids should not sign up on web sites without a parent being present.