Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watch Out for the Punk Punks

Recently I was contacted by someone from They wanted me to have my children try out a new Wii video game called "Escape From Adventure Island". It was due to release on November 17th. I was offered a chance to check it out before it was released. This is what I was told about the game:

Escape from Adventure Island is designed for children between the ages of 5-9. It's an action-packed game that invites players to use their explorer skills and brain power to find a way to escape the mysterious island that they crashed landed on. As players race to collect the pieces needed to repair their blimp, they will navigate 3D worlds both above and below the water. Along the way, players will practice over 150 math, reading, and critical thinking skills all while having fun!

I thought this sounds like the perfect game for my daughter Kaitlyn. Perhaps it will help with her reading skills which she struggles with. So I anxiously accepted the offer. A few weeks later the game arrived in the mail and we opened it up and tried it out.

I was excited to see that both my 7 year old and my 10 year old were enjoying playing. As a matter of fact they were quickly fighting over who got to play it next. Unfortunately it is only a one player game. This was something I wished was not the case. I wish that it was a multiple player game. It wouldn't stop the fighting in my house I'm sure, but it might have made things a little bit easier. Then they would have only been fighting about which section of the game they were going to play. Instead of who would play next and what section of the game they should play.

In the few weeks we have had the game we haven't even begun to fully get into every aspect of the game. Both girls are very interested in it though. Even though it says it is for ages 5-9 I believe they could even raise those age limits. Natalie found some parts challenging. There are multiplication, division, and fractions on it for math which are exactly the things Natalie is working on at age 10 and in the 5th grade. From what I saw they did seem to be more simple multiplication and division problems, but I didn't sit there and watch them play the whole time. When I asked Natalie if it was challenging for her she replied that yes it was. So still fun and challenging even for a 10 year old.

We did find that it was difficult to navigate through the game without having the nun-chuck hooked up to the controller. That turned into a bit of a pain every time they wanted to find a different area to explore having to hook the nun-chuck back up and then unplug it to play the games. Now granted, Kaitlyn always seems to have trouble getting the Wii remote to work just right. Not sure if it's where we have the bar located for the remote or what, but even still Joe found it difficult to navigate without using the nun-chuck too.

All in all though I think this is a great game. I certainly don't mind so much having the girls play this video game even on weeknights when they have school the next day. I do feel like they are learning all sorts of things and I look forward to them continuing to explore more of the game. If I could change anything about this game it would just be that it was a multi-player game and the navigation in the "story mode" was a little more user friendly. I have to say though I do definitely highly recommend this game to all elementary age children. It retails for only $29.99 and is available for sale now. It is rated "E" for everyone by the ESRB. I think it would make a great Christmas gift for your children. It's got what mom wants (education) and what kids want (fun and adventure).

Here's a video of the girls playing the game. Be sure to watch out for the Punk Punks...