What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, despite its ominous name, The Island of Dr. Frankenstein is safe and appropriate for any child old enough to be able to read its instructions, which are generally quite short. There’s no violence in the game; players simply run around a floating island helping its inhabitants. Even its monsters, which include a mummy, a werewolf, and a creature separated from his legs (which wander about on their own) are much more amusing than scary.
What's it about?
THE ISLAND OF DR. FRANKENSTEIN is a simple and gentle tale of a boy who lives on an island that has been lifted into the sky by fans created by the mysterious Dr. Frankenstein. His primary responsibility is to maintain the machinery that keeps the island afloat, which involves tending to the fans and sucking up the pesky white vapors that slowly gather around them. But, he finds himself doing a lot more than that, including helping villagers with tasks such as procuring candy, chickens, or mechanical parts. There’s no violence in the game, making it quite safe for young children, so long as they can read the short text dialogue bubbles that pop up when chatting with non-player characters.
Is it any good?
This is a game best thought of as a child’s introduction to the world of adventure and role-playing games. Its world is small and painless to navigate, the story is mellow and easy to digest, and the controls are dead simple. However, it’s also less polished—and less fun—than, say, a Mario game. The blocky, texture-less graphics are decidedly dated and the music extremely repetitive. What’s more, the activities in which the player engages are uninspired and derivative. There are no fatal flaws, but it does feel like a very short, bare-bones adventure. Its attractive bargain price of $19.99 is what ends up earning the game a somewhat hesitant thumbs-up.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about adventure games that feature no violence. Do you feel like you need to hop on or whack an enemy in order for a game to feel complete? Or is it enough to explore, talk to other characters, and solve puzzles?
Families can also discuss the role of monsters in games and other media. Need they always be scary and violent? Or can they be just as interesting when presented as average characters with more or less normal needs and desires?