A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Although a simple collection game, kids are finding, rescuing, and collecting all the Xia-Xia pets' friends.
Positive Role Models
The characters are cutesy hermit crabs who are helpful and noble.
Ease of Play
Although there isn't a tutorial, the controls are explained in the instruction booklet and the game's simple platforming action is easy to pick up. Kids use the directional keypad on the left and two buttons on the right of the device.
Products & Purchases
There are no overt advertisements, but the game is based on a popular brand of collectible toys and will likely encourage kids to play with and collect the Xia-Xia pets.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Xia-Xia for the DS is an adventure game based on the collectible toys, Xia-Xia Pets. The simplicity of the platform-puzzling makes it suitable for younger children, although they must have the dexterity to handle two buttons at one time. The game also does not make use of the device's wireless capability so there are no privacy worries.
Is It Any Good?
Xia-Xia helps to teach kids who are new to gaming how to play an easy platform puzzler. Kids can't fail and there are no scary baddies. Just a fun underwater environment to explore and friends to rescue. There is a little dressing up of your character with the shells you've collected and checking your collections, but Xia-Xia is mostly about navigating through a maze while figuring out how to collect all of the items you need to make it through. The game uses visual clues so kids can figure out what they need to do next in the game. Arrows point the correct way, streams of bubbles float upwards, gates have a pattern that let kids know what key they need to find to unlock it. Younger kids may have a little difficulty with the actual controls, but kids who enjoy the Xia-Xia pets will likely enjoy collecting and dressing up virtual Xia-Xias as well. The 25 levels can eventually seem a little repetitive.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.