Family Game Review: Kinect Nat Geo TV 'America the Wild'Joslyn Gray
Wow. I really can’t say enough good things about Kinect Nat Geo TV: America the Wild. I was skeptical at first, because there’s a lot of educational stuff out there that simply doesn’t hold kids’ interest. This game from National Geographic is amazing.
It’s not really a game as much as it is interactive television. There are mini-games that keep kids paying attention, but it’s not a traditional video game at all. Casey Anderson of National Geographic’s America the Wild hosts the show, and he brings not just knowledge but an appealing warmth to it.
My kids, aged 6, 8, 11, and 11, were glued to this game. Even while you’re watching the film part of it, you watch for things and say “snap!” to the voice-activated Kinect to take photos of the animals, and “tracks!” to start activities.
The activities, which relate to the “lesson,” are mini-games where your child is put into a wildlife scene, using the Kinect’s camera. It’s your actual kid, not a cartoon version, but with bear paws on her hands and a bear head over her head, the end result being adorable. The two-disc game includes eight episodes of America the Wild, in which your child learns about (and does activities as) grizzly bears, black bears, owls, wolverines, wolves, and more.
This game is really two-way television, and it’s basically everything technology should be. You know how your kids watches TV shows and your kid is supposed to talk back to the character? Yeah. This show actually hears what your kid said. It’s part beautifully filmed documentary, part Choose Your Own Adventure, and part video game.
Four very enthusiastic thumbs-up from my kids, and another one from me!
(Photo Credit: Xbox)
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