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The Daring Game for Girls - Wii Review

Game Info
The Daring Game for Girls

Wii | Majesco Entertainment | 1 Player | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk
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Review
31st May 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Published by Majesco, The Daring Game for Girls is an adventure game made specifically for young girls who are coming up, trying to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Based on 'The Daring Book for Girls' by Andrea Buchanan, players will be able to explore a vast environment full of fun puzzles and tasks. But is this game nothing more than just a quick cash-in?

    At the beginning of the game, you'll first get to choose your in-game character from a selection of different girls. You'll then be presented with cutscenes that tell a story by means of a series of photos. Basically, the premise of the game is that you're the new girl in town and are just getting used to the neighborhood. Moving to a new place is always difficult, so your character takes initiative to meet new people, learn more about the area as well as the different adventures that lie within.

    
Gamers will appreciate the ability to explore the entire game at their own pace. The main world consists of multiple sub-areas including a construction site, a campground, a school and even an underground cave. As you complete tasks and make discoveries, you'll earn DG Badge Points and Essential Gear. Badges are divided into multiple categories such as Life Skills, Art & Literature, and Sports & Games. These can be earned simply be performing various tasks that the neighborhood kids have planned for you. Coins serve as the game's currency and you can use these to head into Arts & Crafts and Hardware stores in each of items that will help you on your quest. 

    There's lots of different things you can do. You can solve a slider puzzle, go exploring, solve riddles and undertake spy missions, or sell lemonade at your own corner stand. There are lots of activities to play as well, including 'Around the World' on the Basketball court, aim for 50 points in a game of Double Dutch, or use a soccer ball to engage in a penalty kick shoot-out. Some of the mini-games are kind of fun and you can even win items from them. For example, at some point in the game, you'll be awarded a pair of binoculars. Using a star cursor, you can point and click on birds and ducks to fill your log of discoveries. If you're good at a particular activity, you can't replay it constantly to accumulate Badge Points faster. Well, technically you can, but you won't earn as many points after completing it successfully the first go. And I thought this was a neat way of encouraging young players to get out there and do other things. Unfortunately, you won't be able to play these activities with a friend or a sibling.

    
Playing the game requires use of the Nunchuk peripheral. You use the analog stick to move your character, press A when an icon appears above things you can interact with, or press C to reset the camera. Additionally, pressing the Plus Button at any time will bring up the Inventory menu which displays info on friends, craft materials and gardening. Controls for each of the mini-games and missions also varies but most of these are simple in terms of what's involved. For example, making a friendship bracelet requires that you hold the A Button and drag the cursor along lines in a given direction. Other times, the controls may require more from the player, like in a game of tetherball where the timing window is quite strict. 

    In between areas and games, random loading screens will display quotes as well as interesting facts while you wait. Statements such as "Be thankful for what you have" (Oprah Winfrey) are quite inspirational for a girl coming up, and they encourage the player to look inside themselves in real life. Paying attention to these loading screens will also prove to be a big help when you play a game of trivia, since all of the answers can be taken from what you see during these wait times. The visuals in the game are decent, albeit they border on something that's not up to par with current gen affair. Especially with other games like Learning from the PooYoo's (on the WiiWare service) proving that games target towards younger audiences can still be really appealing, the graphics here don't show a lot of depth or detail.

    
There are some comments to be made on the game from a technical standpoint. For one, the IR isn't that smooth and the framerate is quite spotty. More noteworthy, though, is the fact that the slider puzzle activity never loaded properly again after I tried it for the first time. Further on the note of presentation, there are some minor special effects (such as bursts of stars) and the character models look alright (but just barely). The music is okay I suppose, and it sounds like something from a child's PC game, so perhaps it's not that important in the long run.

    The Daring Game for Girls isn't that bad, but it's not great either. Accumulating maximum points on all badges and completing all tasks will certainly take multiple plays, but is it motivating enough to keep the average child coming back? Perhaps, yes, but I'm not entirely confident about it. I admit that the premise is somewhat interesting and surely your child will find something that they'll enjoy the most (e.g., cave exploring and spy missions were some of the more enjoyable things to do). But if it's someone who's around the age of 8 or younger, I'd recommend getting Build-a-Bear Friendship Valley instead since there are lots of elements here that remind me of what already exists in that game. However, girls who generally enjoy playing on the Wii and are avid readers may enjoy this, especially because of the good messages found therein. Although the Wii definitely has more enjoyable games available for female gamers, I can still suggest giving this a rental because I know some will enjoy it.


17/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 7/10 - Not entirely linear, players have lots of freedom, controls could be better, spy missions and cave exploring are especially fun
Presentation 5/10 - Not a lot of effort was put into the graphics, character models and music get the job done, technical hiccups, inconsistent framerate
Enjoyment 2/5 - Some fun activities, other aspects are tedious or needlessly-difficult than fun, more likely that your child will move onto something else
Extra Content 3/5 - Lots to do, contains good messages, motivational quotes, unless you're a fan of the book it's not worth $30, no multiplayer

Equivalent to a score of 57% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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