Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs Game Poster Image

Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs

(i)

 

Fun, augmented-reality edutainment filled with cool facts.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn all about prehistoric animals, plant life, and environments in this engaging educational game with an augmented reality component. Players will learn about specific types of life, when and where these animals and plants lived, and how they interacted with one another and survived. They’ll also learn which species have survived through to modern times and how they may have changed along the way. Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs makes learning about dinosaurs fun by bringing them into players’ living rooms and allowing kids to interact with them in instructive and meaningful ways.

Positive messages

This game teaches kids about paleontology. Kids will come away with a better understanding of animals and plants that existed in the age of dinosaurs, and they're quizzed on what they've learned at the end of each chapter. 

Positive role models

There aren't any humans in the game, though the male and female narrators serve as good examples of passionate, well-spoken, and excited instructors.

Ease of play

Kids should have no problem following the audio cues and on-screen directions, which appear in front of each activity. The game continues even if the player fails to carry out actions as directed, with the hosts suggesting that they should come back and try again later. 

Violence & scariness

Players will see dinosaurs fight, ramming each other with their horns and gnashing their teeth. Kids can occasionally control battle moves with swipes of the Move controller, but they don't see any dinosaurs get killed. The narrators do discuss the deaths of some dinosaurs. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is an extension of the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs series of documentaries and is associated with the film of the same name.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs is an instructive augmented-reality game that requires the PlayStation Wonderbook peripheral, as well as a PlayStation Eye camera and a PlayStation Move motion controller. It's presented as a series of educational chapters, each providing players with information about various species of prehistoric plants and animals. Kids will see realistic animal behaviors ranging from grazing to fighting, but the game stops short of showing anything graphic. It's likely that players both young and old will come away with a better understanding of the biological ecosystems that existed tens of millions of years ago.  

What's it about?

WONDERBOOK: WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is an interactive educational experience that makes use of Sony's Wonderbook augmented-reality platform. It requires the Wonderbook -- a cardboard book filled with AR patterns -- as well as a PlayStation motion controller and Eye camera. Kids see themselves on their TVs flipping through the book’s pages, which come alive with prehistoric environments filled with dinosaurs, birds, ancient mammals, and extinct plant species. The narrators -- a man and a woman -- guide the experience, leading players through activities that include dusting off ancient fossils, identifying bones and plants, helping dinosaurs find mates, and even guiding their actions as they fight with one another. They'll earn virtual cards filled with fun facts along the way, then get tested on what they've learned via a quiz at the end of each chapter.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs is a very fun and interactive way to learn about dinosaurs. The activities are fast-paced and diverse, and the game lingers on each only long enough for players to try something new -- such as feeding a dinosaur or roaring to attract a potential mate -- and to learn a couple of cool facts. Then it's time to move on to the next one.

The augmented-reality element is well integrated and works pretty much perfectly in tandem with the PlayStation Move controller. Flipping pages reveals new environments that pop up from the book and feel as though they're in your living room. Players get to intuitively interact with them using the PlayStation wand, chipping away at rocks, using a grabber to collect specimens, or swiping to defend themselves from the attacks of angry predators. Anyone with even a slight interest in our planet's giant ancient reptiles will be enthralled. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dinosaurs. What do you like and not like about these prehistoric creatures? Do you wish they were alive today? If you could have one as a pet, which would you choose?

  • Families also can discuss augmented reality. Do you think this is a fun way to learn? Is it more or less effective and immersive than traditional instruction, books, and films?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Subjects:Science: biology, geology, plants
Social Studies: geography, history, timelines
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, memorization
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:November 12, 2013
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Dinosaurs
ESRB rating:E10+ for Crude Humor, Mild Violence

This review of Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs was written by

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