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: Spellbound is the second DS game based upon the popular teen Disney Channel sitcom. It's about kids who learn to perform magic spells at a special wizard school, but who are taught how to use their magic responsibly. There are many points in the game, however, when Alex (the heroine) will have to skirt the rules in order to achieve her goals, which are usually noble ones. For instance, she has to sneak around and use magic in an unsanctioned area in order to turn some of her fellow students into humans again after they were transformed into hamsters. Also, this game can connect to DGamer, Disney's online gaming community.
What's it about?
WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE: SPELLBOUND is a game based on Disney Channel's teen sitcom, Wizards of Waverly Place, about a family of kids learning to be magic-users. In Spellbound, the heroine, Alex, is planning to enter a wizard fashion-design competition, but the dress she made has gone missing. As she seeks out the pilfered gown, chatting with a large cast of characters along the way, she'll also be given a slew of missions from friends, family, and teachers, which she'll have to use her large library of spells to solve.
Is it any good?
If you ignore the rather lousy graphics, Wizards of Waverly Place: Spellbound has a lot to offer. Fans of the show will rejoice in the fun storyline and cute/goofy dialogue. They'll also love how much variety there is in the game. There are a whole bunch of different spells to learn and use, including spells to make things move, spells to turn people into animals, spells to change your appearance, and so on. The game's very smart and simple control scheme makes using all those different spells a cinch. There are also a slew of new outfits that can be unlocked for Alex to wear whenever she wants -- always a big draw for kids who like to customize their characters. The game may be pure fan service, but those fans are unlikely to be disappointed.
Online interaction: This game, like most DS games from Disney, can connect to Disney's online gaming community, DGamer. DGamer allows kids a generally safe place to post high scores, win special rewards, and chat with gaming friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about when rules need to be followed, and what special circumstances may allow for rules to be broken. In the game, Alex breaks rules for good reasons, but are there ever times in real life when that might be true?
Parents can also talk to their kids about using an online community. When you log onto DGamer to chat with friends or compare game scores, what are the rules you should follow? What should you be aware of?
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