The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this TV-based action game features some truly creepy characters and scary monsters. There's a good deal of violence, but it never goes beyong the cartoon level. The sound can actually be the most disconcerting element sometimes. For instance, when Zack (and, by proxy, the player) takes control of a large, snarling wolf-like beast, its attacks on the enemies are accompanied by truly vicious sounding chomping noises -- wet, growly snaps that could easily frighten a child.
What's it about?
The Saturdays are a family of cryptozoologists who travel the world in search of rare and undiscovered species in order to catalog and protect them. In THE SECRET SATURDAYS: BEASTS OF THE 5TH SUN, an evil megalomaniac and his endless hordes of henchmen are out to poach parts from several of these rare \"cryptids,\" and use them for a formula they believe will extinguish the sun. The Saturdays, of course, come to the rescue.
Is it any good?
Many games based on TV shows are flat-out lousy, but not so The Secret Saturdays. The art style -- thick-lined and colorful, just like that of the series -- is very attractive, and gameplay is blessedly varied. There's a lot of platform-jumping, but also some problem-solving, some button-mashing battles, some time-based challenges, some hide-and-seek creature-hunting, and more. You'll get a chance to control all the members of the Saturday family, plus many of the cryptid beasts that Zack can control with his magic staff. Each person or creature has different moves and powers, thus adding a lot of variety to the game. All in all, Beasts of the 5th Sun offers a solidly entertaining gameplay experience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about real-life endangered species. Why is it important for real zoologists to find and monitor animal species on the brink?
Parents can also discuss the way the Saturdays -- a family -- work together in the story. What do your children think about a kid battling evil alongside his parents? What about the two creatures -- a yeti-like beast and a giant lizard -- that the Saturdays consider part of the family?
Also, what's the relationship between the game and the television show? Can the game stand alone? Or do its creators want players to watch the show as well?