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What parents need to know
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What's it about?
Shark Tale movie fans looking for more frolicking fish fun can find it in the SHARK TALE video games. The Windows version is best for kids ages 6 and up. The console version (for Nintendo's GameCube, Playstation's PS2, and Microsoft's X-Box) targets kids ages 8 and up. In both versions, kids become Oscar, the fast-talking, hip-hopping fish seeking fame and fortune.
In the PC version, kids explore Reef City, looking for ways to earn fame points: winning dance contests, out-swimming sharks, winning races, collecting missing items, and finding secret passages. Earn enough fame points in one location and a new location opens. The console version is more linear: Kids work their way through 25 "chapters" of Oscar's life. Each chapter mixes video sequences with similar games: players race or get chased, dance by hitting a sequence of buttons (or using dance pad controllers for the PS2 or Xbox), sneak past guard fish with flashlights, or collect items.
Is it any good?
Both the Windows and console versions of Shark Tale are amusing to play. Kid-testers loved interacting with the characters from the movie; the hip-hop and R&B music licensed for the games (including Outkast, Will Smith, MC Hammer, Sean Paul, and Ziggy Marley) had them toe-tapping as they swam.
Kid-testers who played both versions favored the Windows game because its controls work better (you even get caught in water currents), it allowed players to choose what kind of activity they wanted to play, and it presented a larger coral reef environment to explore. The console game rigidly determines the order in which you play the games and doesn't offer the player an opportunity for free exploration. But it does have more levels, and its games are more challenging. Price: $29.99 (PC for Windows), $49.99 (Xbox, PS2, GameCube).
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.