Think of the Children for March 18

Think of the Children for March 18

Written by Randy Kalista on 3/18/2009 for DS   PC   PS2   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
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It’s another full-bodied week with 35 new games rated by the ESRB. In the past seven days, Viva Media and DreamCatcher took center stage, as Viva (the folks that published the excellent, difficult, and hard-to-find Immortals of Terra) had nine games screened--though none even as ambitious as a point-and-click adventure--while DreamCatcher had five games screened, four of which are from their Dreamer series of Everyone-rated games. PC regains its standing as the lead platform, if for no other reason than sheer quantity. And this entire time, as I sat expectantly waiting for some foolishly brave publisher to put out an Adults Only game, Knowledge Adventure chimed in with JumpStart Advanced Preschool, pulling in an Early Childhood rating--a rating that I’d completely forgotten even exists!

The cross-platform award goes to both Watchmen: The End is Night Part II and Vin Diesel’s Wheelman, as 360, PC and PS3 owners will all have equal reach for those. (Speaking of Vin Diesel, the fact that the man owns his own video game studio--Tigon--ought to earn him the right to put his name on the box; but I’m sure there are plenty of arguments against that as well).

This week’s best bet goes to “The Dies” for Wheelman. Why? Because even if Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair Vincent) starred in several average films, he’s still in the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and the upcoming Assault on Dark Athena, and he’s still got an uncanny charisma--and the most guttural drawl you’ve ever heard on a big screen--to make you forget all about xXx. And even if you don’t like all of his films (I don’t think that’s humanly possible to like all of them), you could still probably pick out one or two that you thought were pretty darn good. And that’s why Vinny is this week’s best bet.

The Intriguing Title of the Week goes to Dreamer: Babysitter. Now before you rake me across the coals, let’s put this Dreamer series in context. The four Dreamer titles all put through the ESRB sieve this week were Dreamer: Babysitter, Shop Owner, Teacher, and Pop Star. Dreaming about being a pop star sounds legit, right? The number of girls dreaming about that is like the number of boys dreaming about becoming archeologists (so that they can find live dinosaurs) or astronauts (because Earth is…okay…but already too much of a known quantity for a six-year-old). So dreaming about being the next Hannah Montana on the cover of Vanity Fair makes perfect sense. Yes, that joke is about 11 months old, I’m aware. But dreaming about becoming a babysitter? Honey, sweetie, darling, sit down a moment. Let me tell you something. If you’re a girl and you’re under the age of 18, you are going to do some babysitting in your puerile lifetime, okay? You don’t have to dream. So dream about being a teacher, fine. They take you under their wing, and next to your mom and dad, nobody in the world knows more than them. Or dream about being a shop owner, cool. Getting a small-business degree is a fantastic goal for any enterprising grade schooler; everybody has to try their hand at a lemonade stand at least once. But don’t dream about being a babysitter. That dream will come true all too soon.

Title   Publisher   Rating   Platforms
Fashion Season   Viva Media   Everyone   PC
Fruit Lockers 2: The Enchanting Island  Viva Media   Everyone  PC
Hinterland: Orc Lords  Got Game Teen  PC
Super Speed Machines  Majesco Everyone  DS
ColorZ  Exkee  Everyone  Wii
Elizabeth Find, MD: Diagnosis Mystery  ValuSoft Everyone  Mac, PC
Grand Ages Rome  Viva Media Teen  PC
JumpStart Advanced Preschool  Knowledge Adventure  Early Childhood  PC
Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part II  Warner Bros.  Mature  PC, 360, PS3
Dog Academy  Viva Media Everyone  PC
Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure  Interplay Everyone  Wii
Bobbin's Quest  Ziba Everyone  PC
Curse of Montezuma  Viva Media Everyone  PC
The Enchanted Cavern  Viva Media Everyone  PC
Rock N’ Roll Climber  Nintendo  Everyone  Wii
Dragonball: Evolution Namco Bandai Teen  PSP
Freaky Creatures  Abandon Everyone 10+  PC
Dreamer: Babysitter  DreamCatcher Everyone  DS
Dreamer: Shop Owner  DreamCatcher Everyone  DS
Dreamer: Teacher  DreamCatcher Everyone  DS
Wheelman  Ubisoft  Teen  PC, 360, PS3
Secret Files 2 - Puritas Cordis  Koch Teen  DS
X:Men Origins - Wolverine  Activision-Blizzard  Teen  PS2, Wii
Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer  City Interactive Teen  PC
Worms  Team 17 Everyone 10+  PS3
Sprill: The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle   Viva Media Everyone   PC
Sunshine Acres  Viva Media Everyone  PC
50 Horse Games  Viva Media Everyone  PC
Mystery Chronicles: Murder Among Friends  Activision-Blizzard  Teen  PC
Sherlock Holmes: The Secret of the Silver Earring  DreamCatcher Teen  PC
Tournament Pool  Destineer  Everyone  Wii
Dreamer: Pop Star  DreamCatcher Everyone  DS
Silver Star Chess  Agetec Everyone  Wii
Sam & Max Save the World  Telltale Teen  360
Overlord Minions  Codemasters  Everyone 10+  DS


Here’s the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for last week. There were 35 rated titles on 8 platforms: 360 (3), DS (7), Mac (1), PC (19, up from 4 last week), PS2 (1), PS3 (3), PSP (1), and Wii (6). There were 24 of the 35 titles rated Everyone 10+ or lower (not to mention the year’s first Early Childhood rating), 10 rated Teen, and 1 title (Watchmen: The End is Night Part II) with a bone-splintering Mature rating. Should we go ahead and stop watching and waiting for an AO game?

The running tally of game ratings in 2009 is as follows:
Rating   Count
Early Childhood 1
Everyone  209
Everyone 10+  48
Teen  76
Mature  18
Adults Only  0
Got a comment on the article or a rated game? Put it in the comments section or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing…

*The weekly Intriguing Title of the Week (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is identified based on a game on the list that catches the eye of the author for any number of reasons. Good, bad or otherwise, feel free to agree, disagree or add some constructive input to the discussion.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

About Author

Randy gravitates toward anything open world, open ended, or open to interpretation. He prefers strategy over shooting, introspection over action, and stealth and survival over looting and grinding. He's been a gamer since 1982, and writing critically about video games for over 15 years. A few of his favorites are Skyrim, Elite Dangerous, and Red Dead Redemption. He lives with his wife and daughter in Oregon.

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