A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Yogi Bear: The Video Game is a platform-jumping adventure game based on the new Yogi Bear movie. True to the classic character, Yogi is always tempted to steal picnic baskets. He is ultimately a hero who wants to save the park he lives in, and tries to do it without disturbing too much of the nature and tourism going on around him. While that plot is readily apparent in the Wii version, the DS version, which has fewer story-building scenes, makes Yogi's noble side less apparent. The DS version appears as more of a game about sneaking through the park, swiping food.
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What's it about?
YOGI BEAR: THE VIDEO GAME is a tie-in to the new live-action/CGI-animated Yogi Bear movie. As in the movie, Dan Aykroyd provides the voice of Yogi Bear. The Wii version of the game features a storyline about the imminent closing of Jellystone Park, due to the disappearance of its rare animals. Yogi explores the park to find and photograph endangered species and, thus, keep the park open. Along the way, he must try not to disturb vacationers or other wildlife, lest he get scolded by Ranger Smith. Yogi is, of course, distracted along the way by food that he can collect for points and bonuses. The DS version has less of a storyline (no animal photography), but lets you collect gears and build contraptions (like flying bike-car-thingies) that will allow you to access new areas on your quest for food.
Is it any good?
There's not much to excite in Yogi Bear: The Video Game. It's nice to hear Dan Aykroyd doing the voiceovers, but beyond that, the graphics and gameplay feel very ho-hum. The Wii version has fun bits with photographing the animals when you find them, and the mini-games for building crazy vehicles in the DS version gives it momentary boosts of fun -- but in between those interesting segments, there's a lot of standard platform-jumping that, unfortunately, grows repetitive quickly and never feels all that entertaining. As a movie-based tie-in game, Yogi Bear is passable, but it never really moves beyond that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Yogi's character. Is he a hero? Can he be considered noble character when he always gets into trouble and steals food? Is it okay that he does so, because he is, after all, supposed to be a wild animal?
Parents can also talk to kids about marketing. This video game was released before the movie it is based on, and comes with a coupon for movie tickets. In what ways do you think the game developers and movie producers work together?
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