Ever wonder what it would be like to nurture your own 12-month-old cyber-baby? My Baby: First Steps gives you the opportunity to dress, feed, diaper, wash, and teach your very own computerized offspring.
Nobilis and South Peak have created this innovative game which allows you to make a number of choices to help your baby develop and grow. I chose a baby girl, because, well I'm pregnant with my second daughter. I love that I got to pick out her name and decide what color eyes, hair, and skin tone she'd have. It feels as though there are just enough options to choose from without it being overwhelming.
There are many opportunities for customization in this game. Things like scenery in the nursery, clothing and hair, and even what you do with your baby can be changed to suit your whims.
Taking care of your baby is hard work, but this game makes it fun. At each level/month of life, the pediatrician gives you two main tasks to complete (aside from your normal basic needs.) Some tasks are verbally focused while others are more physical.
Verbal tasks are accomplished by the player saying actual words to the baby or by touching her body so she can say the word that correlates the body part touched. For the physical tasks you use your baby's favorite toy to teach them how to walk, run, and climb. Varying the types of involvement the game requires with the physical and verbal tasks adds a wonderful level to the game.
Each task you tackle will either result in small accidents or mistakes for the baby, but also some great accomplishments. When you and your baby complete a task you're rewarded with baby blocks that add up to fill your baby meter for that month of your baby's life. Little extras like cooling the baby's food, changing both poopy and pee-pee diapers with a risk of being peed on, (yes it happened to me twice,) and curing diaper rash help make tasks a little more real.
Along with diapering, feeding, and changing the baby's clothes you can also go shopping in the baby boutique. The boutique not only carries cute clothes for your baby but also toys, hairstyles, and sale items. You can earn money by taking photos of your baby when they are happy. I never got more than two bears (bears being the rating system for how much money you can earn with the photos.) There are apparently, of course, various cheats available to increase one's cash reserves.
The graphics in this game are actually pretty impressive. While the baby does not look true to life, the food, (eggs especially), bath bubbles, and unfortunately the dirty diaper contents are all good (graphically speaking), and help add to the atmosphere of this game.
Being a real-life mom, I can attest that one thing that does not align with true babies in this game are the baby milestones. In the 18 months you take care of the child they learn to walk, talk, climb, but they don't necessarily do it on the same timeline as the average child.
Generally, My Baby: First Steps helps teach responsibility and while the player can still shut the game off, it definitely shows how needy little ones really can be when you're the one taking care of them. So, if you're looking for a game that will keep you busy with baby chores and a lot of choice then you'll love My Baby: First Steps, just make sure you realize it's not the real deal. In general, a fun, once and a while, game to play. The tasks, while interesting, do get repetitive, thereby decreasing the amount of time one will want to play it in a single sitting.
My Baby: First Steps is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: Nintendo Wii.