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Playmobil Pirates for Nintendo DS

Submitted by on January 16, 2010 – 3:10 pmNo Comment

playmobilepirateDS“Playmobil Pirates is a great, absorbing game for little swashbucklers, with some nice in-game features and extras to discover.”

Buy online at Amazon

Price £13.97

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Initial thoughts: We’re big fans of Playmobil so we had high hopes of Playmobil Pirates, a new platform game for the DS and DSi. We brought this out one afternoon when my seven-year-old niece had just done herself an injury in the playground and it was enough to get her and my four-year-old nephew very excited.

The basic idea of the game is that you are Captain One-Eye, exploring Caribbean islands, finding treasure and avoiding various hazards along the way. The mission is to find 9 pieces of a treasure map, and then free a Mermaid, or a princess, or something like that. I got a bit lost with the explanation, to be honest.

We liked: Both kids got involved in the game, and the idea that it was Playmobil and pirates was pretty appealing. There were some nice extra touches to the game, like being able to play mini-games within the game, and to customise your pirate ship. According to the manual there are 70 missions, so I’d guess this is a game that should keep children occupied for a reasonable period of time.

We weren’t keen: I thought the age suitability of this game was a bit off – although it’s apparently suitable for children aged over 3, the game relies upon you reading instructions – well beyond the capabilities of a 4-year-old and even the 7-year-old struggled at times.

There were a couple of other quirks that didn’t go down well with the kids – the platform game is two-dimensional in that you run left or right, compared to the Lego DS games, where you can run in any direction. And when the pirate character dies, you start again at the start of the mission.

This is how it worked back in my video gaming days, but apparently most kids’ games these days are less mean, and so my niece got very upset and demoralised when she kept having to go right back to the start. I’m not sure if this is a flaw, or character-building, actually. I think a bit of meanness in a game toughens kids up.

Overall: A great, absorbing video game for children who like pirates with some nice in-game features and extras to discover, but because of the difficulty and the amount of reading involved, I’d suggest this one for 7+.

[Sally – Who’s the Mummy]

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