A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about the environment, urban planning, resource management, and self-direction. The game reveals interesting facts about U.S. energy consumption as points are collected. With the game's goal being to achieve the highest city and eco-friendliness rating (though this goal is not explicit), urban planning is inherent to this. For kids who can put up with the slow pace of Plan It Green: The Big Switch, it offers a lot of information about building sustainable cities.
This city-building simulation focuses on environmental issues. It promotes environmentalism and sustainable urban planning. It also promotes long-term planning, self-direction, and the management of limited resources.
Positive Role Models
The characters in the game are secondary characters since this is simulation game. The secondary characters are representative of real-world gender and ethnic diversity.
Ease of Play
The pace of the game is slow, and it's hard to understand your progress. As a standalone game, it may be inaccessible to kids with lower reading comprehension, as the game has a lot of reading.
Products & Purchases
The game does not promote the purchase of certain branded products, but it is sponsored by GE and National Geographic, and those logos are present throughout the game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Plan It Green: The Big Switch is the environmentalist's version of SimCity. This simulation game is reading-intensive, with eco-friendly facts popping up upon advancement of play. The pace of the game is slow, exacerbated by the lack of clear goals for "winning the game." In addition to building the city, players can engage in quests and arcade games for more points. Players can connect to the game via Facebook, but the social component doesn't kick in until Level 5. The user experience may feel low-tech compared to the other games.
Is It Any Good?
This is one of those games wherein the learning potential is high but the engagement is only so-so. The pace is slow because you have to wait for the currency to recharge, and it takes a long time to accumulate sufficient coins to create new buildings. Furthermore, it's hard to understand your progress. As a standalone game, this may be inaccessible for kids with lower reading comprehension, as the game is reading-heavy.
However, for those who persevere, it can be a great learning experience. The in-game content may prove valuable for adults and kids alike. The game highlights the latest green innovations and how this technology can impact a community. As such, for those who explore the game, the potential for increased knowledge and awareness is high.
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Our Editors Recommend
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