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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this role-playing game involves fighting in a bloodless manner, as well as excavating fossils. It introduces a new form of play on the DS because each game comes with collectible cards. Kids place a card on top of the DS screen to unlock new material by sticking the stylus through holes in the card.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
In this role-playing game (RPG), players help Rallen and Jeena, two young Planetary Patrol officers, protect their world from attack by the evil Krawl. They do so by finding, training, and growing Spectrobes, otherworldly creatures who are good at battling the Krawl. A Spectrobe is also able to detect other dormant Spectrobes hidden under the ground in fossil form.
Using an awakened Spectrobe, you scan an area and, if there are items underground, help the Spectrobe excavate using the stylus and blowing into the microphone. To shake things up a bit, players occasionally visit the ship and unload the items. Periodically, you will need to battle the Krawl. Two Spectrobes fight in a team along with Rallen.
Is it any good?
There are seemingly neat features in SPECTROBES, such as the multiplayer mode for battles and the downloadable content available through Wi-fi, but to unlock these features, players must spend a large amount of time excavating in order to find the requisite cubes. The game does introduce a cool, new feature to the DS: adding content by using collectible cards. Kids place an enclosed card on top of the DS screen to unlock new material by sticking the stylus through holes in the card.
It becomes apparent early on that this seemingly exciting game is anything but. Too much time is spent finding items hidden in the ground in very repetitive gameplay. The worlds are plain with not much to see except grass and rocks; Rallen and Jeena don't have much expression and their conversation is limited. Spectrobes tries to be a different sort of RPG, but its repetitive gameplay and simple battle mode kills kids' interest.
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