The Search for Amelia Earhart

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
The Search for Amelia Earhart Game Poster Image
Search-and-find game with interesting historical plot.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game lauds Earhart's many accomplishements and uses her as an example of all that women can achieve. However, the protagonist, Christine is portrayed as a psychic, a supernatural touch in an otherwise very realistic story. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Earhart herself, as well as Christine, the hero of the game, are presented as smart, capable women worthy of emulation. One male character is presented as a chauvinist who spews demeaning comments, but he is there to give the game some historical accuracy.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is simple and easy to handle. You can choose timed play or untimed, for a more casual experience.

Violence

A pie in the face is the extent of it.

Sex

One female character shows a bit of cleavage in a V-neck sweater. 

Language

One male character, meant to be portrayed in a negative light, intentionally demeans women with names like "chick" and "babe," and makes comments about how women are better off baking cakes.

Consumerism

The disc comes loaded with demos of other purchasable games by the same publisher.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigars are in the visuals of the game, but never seen lit and never smoked by any characters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this history-based search-and-find puzzle game is all about female empowerment and how Amelia Earhart broke down gender boundaries in aviation. To this purpose, the game presents one reprehensible character who spouts chauvinistic language in several scenes. Younger children may not fully understand that this character is included as a negative stereotype. The main character is a psychic, who uses her special abilities to sense what happened to Earhart. Parents should guage how their children might react to the true-to-life ending involving Earhart's death.

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What's it about?

In the 1940's, a psychic named Christine, who cites Amelia Earhart as her inspiration, uses her mental powers to try to figure out what happened to the missing pilot. In THE SEARCH FOR AMELIA EARHART, Christine visits important places in Earhart's life, touching items to get impressions of the past. As the story progresses, Christine grows older and is aided in her quest by her niece. The gameplay revolves mostly around search-and-find puzzles, in which the player must locate a number of objects hidden among a cluttered and chaotic scene. Other types of puzzles are presented to players in between.

Is it any good?

The Search for Amelia Earhart is a decent search-and-find game. And Amelia Earhart's story is an inherently interesting one. The plot device used to tell it -- namely, that of a psychic sensing moments in Earhart's past -- is a bit cheesy, though, and doesn't actually amount to anything, as it is not Christine's psychic powers that end up revealing the famed aviator's true fate in the end. And that ending is more than a bit anticlimactic. While the story could definitely have been improved upon, the gameplay is generally fine. One nice feature is the way certain items you find (a key, a screwdriver, a handle, etc.) will give you access to new areas to search.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about women's history and Amelia Earhart in particular. How did Earhart change the way women were viewed in her time? Why are the vast majority of pilots still male, though? Have we come far enough in that regard?

  • Families can also discuss the inclusion of the nasty, chauvinistic landlord character in the game. Why include an offensive character in a game about women's accomplishments and importance to history? Can this character be misinterpreted?

  • The main character is portrayed as a psychic. What do you think of a character having special abilities to sense what happened in the past?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: December 22, 2009
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Tobacco Reference

For kids who love puzzle games

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