A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game turns science into a sort of competitive sport, with players attempting to perform accurate experiments as quickly as possible. Some of tactics used -- such as throwing smoke bombs at competitors to cloud their vision and slow them up -- are questionable, but the game’s overall atmosphere is positive and good natured.
Positive Role Models
Players begin the game as an assistant to a kindly old scientist who provides help and encouragement. Some of the side characters aren’t as pleasant (they tend to taunt the player prior to competition), but there aren’t any truly villainous people in the game.The characters show that doing science can be fun, exciting, and rewarding.
Ease of Play
The interface is intuitive, with the Wii’s motion control mimicking real-world movements for pouring, stirring, pounding, and scraping. However, there is some seemingly inaccurate motion detection, which can lead to frustration. Also, to be successful, players need to learn how to multi-task,
Violence & Scariness
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Products & Purchases
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this simulation game has players carrying out science experiments by handling the Wii remote as though it were a variety of laboratory implements, including a spoon, a brush, and a beaker. It provides children with a vague idea of the sort of processes that take place in a laboratory without bogging things down with hard scientific data. The game doesn’t provide enough information for kids to try carrying out experiments on their own, but the developers have still seen fit to warn players not to try anything seen in the game without “professional supervision.” The only questionable behavior in the game involves throwing smoke and goo bombs to block the vision of competing scientists and impede their progress.
Is It Any Good?
At first, Science Papa is quite entertaining. The motions involved in carrying out experiments -- gently moving a beaker over the flame of a Bunsen burner, using a pestle to grind up a compound in a mortar -- are intuitive and fun. There’s some strategy involved, too. For instance, if there are several activities available at once and you recognize that one, such as cooking a compound in the oven, will involve a waiting period, you can start that one and then move on to another before coming back to switch the oven off before it blackens its contents.
However, much like its cousins in the Cooking Mama franchise, the activities grow repetitive after a while and start to feel less like fun activities and more like obstacles to progress. What’s more, a fairly high level of difficulty combines with occasionally inaccurate movement detection to create instances of aggravation (mixing liquids in a large beaker can be particularly annoying in the Wii version). It’s a fun interactive experience with a good premise and a warm heart, but its flaws keep it from being the sort of game you just don’t want to put down.
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Our Editors Recommend
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