Scott’s Toy Box: Computer Animals Are Virtually Pets
When I was teenager, Tamagotchi were the new toys on the market. They were little key rings that housed a virtual pet that you fed and cleaned by pressing a button. I didn’t have one but I knew mine would have died from starvation or filthiness. In fact, they probably were a good litmus test for parents to see how fast their kids would get bored of taking care of an animal before they got the real thing. This month in the Toy Box, I look into games starring animals.
First we have My Horse & Me: Riding For Gold for the Nintendo DS. In this game you play as a recent high School graduate named Emma. She has moved to Kentucky to help her Uncle Roger with his failing farm. It’s up to you to compete in competitions to save the farm. The beginning of the game, it does a fair job of leading you through the game play. However once you figured out how to ride, the game dumps you on a main menu, which is a picture of the ranch. There are no labels to tell you what place will take you where, but this information is available in the instruction booklet. Before you compete, you have to train in the training arena. Once again there isn’t any explicit instructions, but it’s pretty easy to figure out. It does get repetitive though, so to break it up, you can play some challenges. My favorite is the maze you ride through, and I must say it’s easier to chase chickens in Zelda than it is here. There is also equipment you can buy in a shop to use for dressing up your horse. Also, don’t forget to take care of your horse in the stables. This game is geared more toward girls, and if you like horses and don’t mind some repetitive game play, then you’ll enjoy this. It sells for $19 at Amazon.com.
Next we have Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 for the Wii. Rabbids, who look a lot like rabbits, have come down from outer space and are wreaking havoc all over the world. The mini-games are different, each with its own controls, keeping things fresh, which is major when is comes to game play. In one game, you can tackle your friends to see who can hold on to the football the longest, and in another, players find out who can whack the rabbid the hardest to make him fall asleep. I enjoyed the shooting gallery game, which feels like the old arcade games with the attached guns. This game is perfect for groups and sells for $20 on Amazon.com.
Lastly, we’ll take a trip down the rabbit hole in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland for the Wii. This game is based on the movie of the same name. What is interesting about this game is that you don’t play as Alice, but as her five companions, the White Rabbit, the Dormouse, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat. You cycle through these guys, each with their own abilities, to solve puzzles and defeat bad guys. The best ability is the Mad Hatter’s. He stands on podium and you move the picture around to change the perception of the world, which changes the world. This is a good game to play alone but you can play along with a friend. It sells for $37 on Amazon.com, and all these games can also be found at your local video game stores.