World Championship Games: A Track and Field Event
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is a simple track and field simulation. The action consists primarily of jumping, running, and throwing events and is family-friendly. Mixed into the 14 events are three that feature shooting via guns and a bow, but the targets are inanimate. While the content is assuredly for all-ages, most of the events require some degree of discipline and dexterity, and will be difficult for younger children to master. Note, too, that while this game offers online play it does not support text or voice communication, which means there is no need to worry about children stumbling upon improper language or confidential information being exchanged.
What's it about?
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: A TRACK AND FIELD EVENT is a 3-D track and field game featuring 14 common events in the categories of track, throwing, jumping, and target shooting. Players can opt to practice a single event, enter a decathlon, or participate in a national tournament consisting of a variety of events. A robust multiplayer mode allows two to four players to compete in tournaments on a single DS, over a local area network, or online via a Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You can choose to play with strangers, but neither text nor voice communication is supported, making this a rare case in which younger kids can safely play online. Players can also check their worldwide rankings in each event by uploading them to online leaderboards and earn medals that unlock bonus content, such as new venues.
Is it any good?
Track and field games are typically pretty simple in design and concept, and World Championship Games is no different. Players select an athlete, a country to represent, and then have at it. The only real differentiator here is in control. The game's developers have come up with some interesting, if sometimes complex, methods of interface. Sprinting, for example, requires players to tap the stylus on footprints moving down the touch screen at the exact moment they hit a horizontal bar, rather like a rhythm game. It's a welcome change from beating the A and B buttons to make your runner hoof it down the track. Executing a long jump, on the on the other hand, is much more challenging than it should be. Players begin by tapping the footprints to run, then they must hold one of the shoulder buttons for a set length of time to set the angle of the leap, then press the A button to successfully land. It's unlikely that younger children will have the discipline to learn such complicated controls, but for older players who take the time to master them, World Championship Games can be a pleasant distraction.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about track and field. Do you believe that track athletes who specialize in a very specific discipline might have success in more commercial sports in which their talents are required? For instance, might a sprinter make a good running back? Given the intensity of training required and the lack of monetary remuneration (few track and field athletes are able to make a living via their chosen sport), what do you think drives those who spend years devoted to becoming the world’s best runners, jumpers, and throwers? Do you think track and field athletics is something you might one day gravitate toward? Why or why not?