A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wizards of Waverly Place is an adventure game that emphasizes puzzle-solving and interacting with other characters rather than combat. Spells occasionally backfire, resulting in broken science experiments or people being temporarily frozen (hence the "Comic Mischief" disclaimer), but the tone is cheeky rather than mean-spirited. Alex is somewhat preoccupied with her crush, Dean, but it's innocent. One of the mini-games asks trivia questions about the TV show, which might trip up players unfamiliar with Waverly "lore." The game also supports Disney's DGamer online features that let players unlock costumes and achievements.
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What's it about?
Based on the Disney TV show of the same name, WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE is a Nintendo DS adventure game that follows the story of three siblings (Alex, Max, and Justin Russo) who also happen to be wizards-in-training. Players alternate between controlling all three Russo kids as they try to balance their "normal" lives attending TriBeca Prep and working at the family's sandwich shop in Waverly Place with honing their magic skills in secret at the WizTech magic school. When people randomly start being frozen by some kind of strange magic, the siblings must get to the bottom of the mystery.
Is it any good?
Players will spend most of their time figuring out which items or spells are needed to solve puzzles – for example, the guys can't play dodge ball until they've found the coach's missing whistle, which another student dropped in the park. Players can use a variety of magic spells to manipulate objects in the environment – including "move," "levitate," and "freeze," – by tracing the correct pattern with the stylus. There are a variety of mini-games too, such as making sandwiches, hitting targets with a catapult, and popping bubbles to mix potions. Older, more experienced gamers might find the "fetch quest" aspect of the gameplay a bit transparent, but Wizards of Waverly Place is a solid game with plenty of different things to do, none of which are overly difficult or frustrating. For its target audience, namely the same 'tweens that watch the TV show, the game shouldn't disappoint.
Online interaction: This game can connect to D-Gamer, a place for kids to interact with others, as well as unlock costumes and achievements found in the game.
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