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Wii Game Review: National Geographic Challenge! Wild Life

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When it comes to education and learning, I am one who firmly believes in the concept of “sneaky” learning and teaching. Why make education dull and boring when it can be made tons of fun with children learning without even realizing that they are learning instead of just playing and having fun? National Geographic has taken a step in the direction of “sneaky” learning with their release of National Geographic Challenge! Wild Life and I truly hope that this is just the beginning of several great titles to come on the gaming front.

What can you expect from National Geographic Challenge! Wild Life? There are a few different features and ways to play. With four different themes including Predator vs. Prey, Dangerous Encounters, Aquatic Life and Amazing Planet, there are over 5,000 trivia questions in multi-player and single mode as well as 15 different quiz types ranging from memory, higher or lower, anagrams, true or false to observation, fast focus, odd one out and anagrams.

Play is available in single player mode or up to four people, making this a great family night game. National Geographic has also put an intriguing spin on the game by including 90 minutes worth of crisp and clear video clips from their award-winning archives as well as more than 2000 gorgeous high-resolution images that will awe any player.

National Geographic Challenge! Wild Life has a very interesting and promising premise with great ways of learning, discovering and playing, the possibilities are limitless. When given the opportunity to review this game, I was incredibly excited. I have a nine-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son who are both fascinated by wildlife, nature and all the things that they hold. Needless to say, I thought that this would be the perfect Wii game for us to play together as a family and experience fun and learning in an entirely new way.

While the graphics and visuals were beautiful, intriguing and gorgeous, honestly the game fell a bit flat in the fun department. I think that I had such high expectations for this game that when we actually sat down and played it, those expectations quickly deflated. Why? The games were not overly engaging and a bit on the “blah” side. The puzzles and games, while slightly fun, just didn’t hold my kids’ attention and were a bit more difficult to enjoy (i.e. puzzle pieces were small and hard to maneuver).

The game also seemed a bit on the disjointed side, not making for a very smooth gaming experience. I am not saying that this is a horrible game, but just not at all like I was expecting or hoping for. I would definitely recommend renting this one first before purchasing. I do hope that National Geographic will make another go at future Wii releases, but hope that they are a bit more fun and engaging.

National Geographic Challenge! Wild Life is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Mild Blood. This game can also be found on: PS3.

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About April Pohren