I have two daughters, one is five going on six and the other three. As with many little girls, they are very much into baby dolls and pretending that they are the dolls' mommies. I know that I'm quite a bit away from that happening, but in the meantime, we have the game My Baby First Steps to tide them over.
My Baby First Steps follows a very interesting theme for a game – bringing up a baby and helping the baby learn all the things they need to learn. In the simulation, the player has a nurse called Clara who helps the player with the baby. The pediatrician, Dr. George, gives advice as well. The game also features different rooms in the house which provides the background for the different tasks.
With this game, the player takes care of the baby from when he/she is an infant all the way to their third birthday. The babies have to be helped with standing, walking, eating, climbing, and talking, all of which bring a whole different level of interaction. Luckily, the game is saved with each different function or each time one changes locations.
At the outset, the player gets to pick whether they want to play as the mom or dad. After that, one gets to customize the baby to some extent. There are a wide range of ethnicities to choose from, including East Asian, Caucasian, South Asian, Mediterranean, African, North African, and Hispanic. There are also plenty of different languages to select from as well. Instantly one will note that the game is sending a good message about diversity.
The game instantly becomes engaging, starting the player of immediately with a floor-centered vantage point. The baby can't walk first thing, but that doesn't stop the player from being able to pick them up from under their arms and helping them stand.
The levels are divided into development groups — standing, walking, saying words, running, climbing, more words, and so on until the baby is two-and-a-half years old. There is a cool progress book that contains all the information about the baby's progress and exercises. If the player neglects their baby, they starts to cry. However, there are ways to soothe the baby's emotions.
Feeding the baby is fun — the player has to spoon feed them, and just as in the real world, the baby may want to try doing it on their own. Dressing is also an interesting process There is a Grandma in the game who, like many an actual grandmother, will reward the player with baby clothes, and will provide more clothes if they get sent photographs of their grandchild.
This game is as close to doing the real thing as possible. There are a slew of little details that pull in the reality factor, including baby gates guarding the stairs, toys strewn on the floor, realistic sounds, etc. The graphics overall are decent as well. One can tell there was a lot of thought put behind the scenes, the movements, the interactions and the overall game experience. It's very well done. The best part of it all is that one can play this game with their kids and the kids totally "get it."
My Baby First Steps is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS.