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This review is for the Nintendo DS game, EA Playground, developed and published by Electronic Arts. There are a range of sports to play in this game, such as derivatives of football, basketball and trampolining for example.
There are a total of nine games to play, across a wide range of different sports. You start in a playground, where you have to win marbles to be able to progress to other locations. You win marbles by competing with other children in the games. The games are, trampoline, hopscotch, bug hunt, hoops, dodge ball, RC racer, skating, spit ball and kicks.
Each of the games are quite varied, but does alleviate the problem of the game becoming too repetitive, but the problem is that the mini games aren't really that good, so once you've played them a few times, they don't really hold much long-term interest. Possibly the best game of the bunch is RC racer, the racing game, but for those that like this sort of game, there are much better alternatives available on the DS.
There are three difficulty levels in the game, which makes the game especially accessible to children, especially younger children as the game is easy enough to understand and the controls don't take long to learn and master. The difficult level should be a little more challenging for most kids, but not frustratingly so.
The game does use the touch screen and stylus functions well, and the controls generally are very easy to use. There are also some mini games which can use the microphone facility, so at least some effort has been made in making this game fit the benefits of the Nintendo DS, and it doesn't look like a rushed port from another console.
The graphics are bright and fun in the game, but the sound is sometimes a little dull, not a great deal of sound effects, although the background music tracks aren't too bad. Overall, the graphics and sound don't detract from the game, but they don't add much to it.
There is a multi-player mode, but this is disappointing as if you want to play with up to three friends, you would each need your own copy of the game cartridge. Given that other games allow you to play the game with friends with just one cartridge, this is quite disappointing.
The game is currently available on Amazon for twelve pounds, although if you're happy with a second-hand copy, at time of writing these are available for around seven pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 3+, so is suitable for children of most ages.
In summary, this is a good game for kids, as the difficulty level is set at a sensible level, the graphics are bright and fun, and there's a range of different games to play to minimise any boredom. However, the lack of multi-player options without requiring multiple copies of the game is disappointing, and there's not really much long-term interest in this game, and not much short-term interest either for older players.
In this game you choose a character (boy or girl) the aim of the game is to collect stickers, there are 48 in total. You begin in a playground area, there are many other children in the area who have certain skills, e.g. football, basketball, dodgeball. You have to play against each of the children to win a sticker. Once you beat a certain amount of children there are 3 other areas which can be unlocked.
After you win the sticker from each child you can play them two more times to win marbles from them (this is like the currency in the game) you then use the marbles to buy more stickers. The aim is to collect all of the stickers
There are 3 levels of difficultly for each sport, you have to complete the easy and medium first before you can do the hard.
Once you have unlocked the games you can also play them seperately to try to beat your high scores.
The activities are fun and as they get harder become more challenging as the levels get harder.
The only downside with having to complete the easy then the medium then the hard is that you have to move between areas because they are not all in the same one, it is then a bit confusing to work out who you have beaten and who you havent.
The game makes good use of the ds capabilities, using the sound, stylus, control pad and microphone.
Overall a fantastic game which gets more challenging with each difficulty.
Suitable for variety of ages I'm 21 and I've enjoyed playing it. Once you understand how to play its easy to understand but some of the games are quite hard expecially on the highest level so not a game for young children. Maybe 8+ might be able to play it.
EA Playground features games that are easy to pick-up-and-play by fully capitalizing on the unique control mechanics of both the Wii and the Nintendo DS. Swing the Wii remote to excel in tetherball, blow into the Nintendo DS mic to fire spitballs or battle your friends and family in dodgeball. Every game brings its own twist to the controls for the ultimate, all-ages, party game.