What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fun collection of circus-themed mini-games has easy to pick up controls and a great cooperative multiplayer mode, all of which makes it a good choice for family gaming. There is a mischievous sense of humor behind much of the action, but nothing that should be inappropriate for young kids. Parents to need to be fully aware, though, that the game is also likely to inspire requests for the purchase of Playmobil toys.
What's it about?
PLAYMOBIL CIRCUS allows you to perform a series of silly circus acts with cute Playmobil toy characters. You need to start by practicing the acts in a back lot, and when you've perfected an act, you can perform an entire big top show, complete with ringmaster introductions, clown antics, and expanded versions of the acts you've been practicing. Some acts are traditional circus fare (a high wire unicycle act, lion taming, and trained horse parade), while others are whimsically original (cow trampoline, monkey bandleader, and chicken stacking).
Is it any good?
There are several circus games for the Wii, but Playmobil Circus stands out among them all. There's real originality and creativity in the way the acts are presented and performed, and many surprisingly humorous cut scenes. There's enough of a difference between the practice rounds and the performance rounds that making it to the big top show feels like a real payoff. And perhaps most important of all, the controls are well designed (something which many other circus games can't claim as a benefit). The option to play cooperative or competitive multiplayer is a very nice addition. And the visuals are smooth, crisp, and a lot of fun to see. The whole package has a wonderful, playful spirit and adds up to be a very enjoyable, family-friendly circus game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the value of practice, and how even if a skill doesn't come naturally, it can be learned. Once you've perfected an act in the game and can perform it in front of an audience as part of the full big top show, is it more fun? More rewarding?
Parents can also use this game as a reason to reiterate the old "don't try this at home" message.