What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Space Camp is rated E, it will be too difficult for young children, especially when using the lunar lander and the basketball hoops games.
What's it about?
Got a kid who wants to go to space camp? Or maybe he or she wants to be an astronuat and travel in space and land on the moon. That's the premise of SPACE CAMP, which is based on the activities of the Space Camp vacation destination for kids, except this is more fantastical. You eventually get to fly to and land on the moon, just like the Apollo astronauts did in 1969.
The tutorial pack in a lot of gaming, some of which is very challenging. You press and hold the 'A' button to move your character around. Press the 'A' button again to interact with your commander, with posters on the walls, and with big machines that allow you to do many space tasks like flying and mining. You'll move the Wii remote to fly a lunar module and press 'A' gingerly to use fuel, but not too much of it. You'll also flick the remote to dig for energy-filled moon rocks.
Is it any good?
Though the graphics are jaggy and generally uninspired, Space Camp has some very good things going for it. Yes, your commander is really annoyingly egocentric. But as you complete the various tasks he suggests, which are generally fun, you'll acquire patches which allow you to progress in the game. You can place them on your space outfit, too. There's a lot of interaction, here, with other kids who pass by in the halls and with posters on the walls which tell you space facts (albeit with bad punctuation and sometimes, bad grammar – ugh).
Some of the mini-games are really hard, though. Piloting the lunar lander onto three platforms takes ultra careful maneuvering with the remote: it's almost as if you're piloting the real thing. However, since the screen is more 2D than 3D, you have no sense of depth perception. Sometimes, the game is just inaccurate. The basketball game might record a ball that hits the hoop, but doesn't go through the basket. Sometimes, your robot pal tells you that your mission is in the wrong area of the game. Finally, Space Camp is basically an way of advertising a place for which you pay big dollars to send your kids. They even include a poster/brochure in the game box (without prices, of course).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what it would be like to go to space camp and then go to become an astronaut on the moon. What would your favorite activity be -- flying the lunar module or collecting space rocks? If not those, what?