What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the humor and language are right in line with the show's salty style, and while the game's animation is, obviously, very cartoonish, players can run people over with their cars, and beat and kick them. On the other hand, the plot includes both parental protesting over a controversial video game, and a soda with mind-controlling properties, both of which might encourage conversations about marketing to children.
What's it about?
In this newest Simpsons driving game, players become various characters from the animated show and complete silly missions (as Homer, you might deliver Lisa's digestive tract model to school, eating the gall bladder along the way; as Lisa you might save a school of fish from graduating to the dish of the day). As players advance through various levels -- and characters -- racing and chasing, collecting and delivering items, the storylines link to reveal that something sinister is going on in Springfield.
Is it any good?
The missions get a bit repetitive, but the well-animated town, complete with Kwik-E-Mart and Squid Port, gives players plenty to explore, and there are side missions, wardrobe changes -- and secrets to unlock. The Simpsons writers and cast collaborated on THE SIMPSONS: HIT & RUN and there are loads of jokes and insider-references for the show's loyal viewers (favorite characters such as Mr. Burns and Ralph Wiggum appear, and players can drive Homer's Mr. Plow or dress in Lisa's lumpy Florida costume). There's not a lot of educational value here, but this racing game could provide a tamer -- and sillier -- alternative to Grand Theft Auto.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about marketing to children. Do you think the parents in the game have valid concerns about the game they're protesting? Should game developers be held responsible for promoting controversial games to children, or is the responsibility of families to exercise good judgment?