Vacation Isle Beach Party

Common Sense Media says

Active-play game makes great use of Wii balance board.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Get active; play outside; enjoy the sun and the surf; have fun. Nothing negative there.

Positive role models

The characters are only there to play beach and water sports, which they do with gusto. They demonstrate a sense of joy and excitement in their activities. Unseen crowds cheer you on, and express sympathetic "aww" sound when you make a mistake.

Ease of play

Of the many balance board-driven mini-game collections for the Wii, Vacation Isle may be the one in which the balance board works the best. And if you don't have a balance board, the handheld controls for each event are very simple (if not as much fun).

Violence & scariness

During some events, cartoony looking sharks or squids may block your path as obstacles, but getting hit by them just means your avatar flashes for a second and slows down.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Vacation Isle Beach Party, a rousing active-play sports collection, is a game best used with the Wii balance board peripheral device. While the game can be played with only a standard Wii remote and nunchuck, it's simply not as much fun that way.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

VACATION ISLE BEACH PARTY provides you with a virtual Polynesian island vacation, complete with beautiful beach settings and a docket full of fun activities. On the ocean, you'll get to try surfing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding, wake-boarding, and tricking out at a watercraft stunt park. Each event has multiple courses and multiple skill levels. On land, you can get moving to several hula and fire-dancing routines. In between, you can spend sand dollars you earn at the Surf Shack to buy new clothes and equipment. Up to four players can compete, but not simultaneously.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Among the sports mini-game collections that are compatible with the Wii balance board, Vacation Isle Beach Party stands out for its excellent use of that peripheral device. Using the balance board feels so realistic and intuitive here, you wonder why using it never feels this smooth in other games. Some events will ask you to stand on the board sideways or even sit down on it. The games are all playable without the balance board, of course, and they're still fun that way -- just not as much so. It's also wonderful that you don't need to re-calibrate the board before every new event (other games on the market force you to do this, and it is annoying). As for the events themselves, they're all pretty enjoyable. Surfing and water-skiing are particularly fun. And the dancing is a blast. There isn't a huge number of events to play, but as each one offers three separate courses, that feels like less of a problem.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Polynesian setting of the game. In what part of the world does this game take place? What do the hula and fire dances mean to those cultures?

  • Does playing this game make you want to try any of the sports it features, like surfing, wake-boarding, water skiing, or even hula dancing? Are video games a good way to learn about new things you might want to experience in real life?

  • You can create an avatar to represent you in this game. Do you like to create avatars that resemble the real you? Or do you like to make them appear totally different?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:June 15, 2010
Genre:Sports
ESRB rating:E for No descriptors (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Vacation Isle Beach Party was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 7 years old July 1, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

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What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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