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Club Penguin has become an online game sensation with younger kids, where you play as an avatar penguin, where you can talk to each other and play certain games. Usually it has just been an online browser game, but it has been developed into a DS game now. I bought it quite cheap in the sale for my sister at around £15, and she had mixed thoughts about it even though she loved the online version. After I had played it for a little while, I also saw why some younger kids might find it more difficult and harder to play.
The age limit of 3 plus is not really true to the game, as I would say it should be about 7 plus. Some of the games are pretty hard to play on it, as even my 9 year old sister could not play some of them without needing help from me.
The main plot of the game is that you are a secret Elite Penguin Force Agent and you have to complete missions to gain coins. Some of the minigames included are the disco minigame where you control penguins and make them dance in time with the music and the parachute game where they must land correctly.
Completing these various minigames that are included throughout the game, you are rewarded with coins which can be used to upgrade your in game penguin with new features and clothes. Also, another great feature this game has is the ability to transfer coins through to your online Club Penguin account, which according to my sister who is an avid Club Penguin fan, is a great thing to have.
The graphics are relatively good on this game for a Nintendo DS, and they look similar to the online penguin avatars that you control. They are as cute and bright as shown on the internet, and the game contains the sub characters to the penguins such as Puffles to.
If you have friends who also own the game, there is also the opportunity to play against them. My sister did this with her friends, and said that it was great to actually be able to play against people on such tiny consoles. You can even play as long as just one of you have the single card, but this only goes up to 2 people, whereas with multi cards you can play with up to 4.
Overall, this is a good game for those who love Club Penguin, even though the games can be quite difficult, after replaying them a couple of times you do manage to pass them. For the avid Club Penguin-er this can also be a great way of earning extra coins for online accounts. It'd make a great DS game gift for any young child who loves the cute cuddly penguins and small short minigames.
Club Penguin is an online PC game for the most part, whereby players can sign up with either a limited free account, or a paid for members account, and live life as a penguin. They can interact with others from across the globe, including their real life friends if they log on using the same server. They get to dress their penguins up, play games alone or with other penguins, and keep pet puffles in their little igloo houses.
This DS game, Elite Penguin Force, has basically been designed to allow youngsters to play Club Penguin on the go. It's got the same layout as the PC game has, though this DS game version is much more limited. For those who are familiar with the PC Club Penguin Island, this DS version is missing things like the Dojo and igloos.
Penguins can earn coins on here by playing mini games, in the same way as they would using the online version, however what they can use those coins for is somewhat limited. In this game, they can't decorate an igloo or buy pet puffles. Being so limited in what they can use the coins for makes them less appealing than they are in the online version. Online you can decorate your igloo with new and exciting features that are released every other month, and you have your puffles to buy and tend to as well. On this DS version, you can buy one or two pre-set items which are very limited and never change.
Supposedly you should be able to upload any coins you earn from this DS game onto your online Club Penguin account, however this has not been possible for us, and seems to be a problem for many. We can only connect our DSi to the internet using connection 4 in the settings menu which allows us to connect to our secure Sky wireless router. However this game will only access the internet on connections 1-3 using old fashioned basic WEP settings only. There isn't even a USB lead you can buy anymore to connect your DS to your PC with! In theory you could just turn your security settings off but that would mean leaving your wireless network wide open and I'm not willing to do that.
The positive side to the game is that this introduces kids to doing special Penguin missions, something they won't have done on the PC island before purchasing this game. Once they've purchased this game, they can then unlock agent missions on the island, so buying this game does at least guarantee that you'll expand your online version I guess! The missions are a bit confusing at first, but the explanations are printed in a large text that most 7yr olds should be able to read independantly (our bright 5yr old can read them all).
The graphics are bright and fun, much nicer than they are on the online version in fact as you get to see the penguins details all of the time, whereas in the online version, the penguins transition to a cheapy old-style graphics display when you're walking around the island or in one of the rooms.
Over all I think I do recommend this, though at around £20 for a copy it does seem slightly over priced. The game is a bit limited really, as once the missions have been completed, there's not much point going on just to play the mini games if you can't get your coins onto your online account once you've earned them. That was the main point of this DS game I think - and unfortunately, because of internet connections issues, this just hasn't worked out. It's a shame you can't own a puffle or decorate an igloo on this DS version too. If you are going to buy this game, at least buy it new rather than second hand so your kids get the unique online unlocking code with it. That way they'll be able to open up an extra dimension to their online experience, and that's something which has turned out to be worth it at least.
When we decided that our daughter was old enough to have some access to a nintendo ds, a platform which we, her parents, had been playing with before she was so much as a gleam in her daddy's eye, we soon discovered that kids' games that are designed by people who actually understand kids are fewer and further between than you would think. One game that soon proved to be a hit was this particular title, a DS version of the hugely successful MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) "Club Penguin", that reproduces some of the features of the online game in miniature and sees the player taking on the role of a spy penguin - unlikely, possibly but definitely a title that was well worth its purchase price.
Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com) is a free site which enables children to network and interact in a safe environment, some elements being by subscription only. This game can be played as a stand alone game, with no prior knowledge of the online game required, children who have spent any time wandering around the snow covered island of the penguin world (and apparently some 3 million people worldwide do so, per month) will soon recognise some familiar features in the ds version, and coins that are won through tasks and games in the ds game can apparently be downloaded onto the area of subscribers. We are not paid up members of club penguin, but my daughter had played with the free parts of the game so was keen to get going with the ds version.
The game sees you, as a penguin (of your colour and name of choice) waddling around the island on the game and taking part in what is a medley of adventure game and mini games just for fun, earning coins so that you can buy items and unlocking items and areas, winning medals and interacting with other penguins. The game makes great use of the DS's touch screen which is used to control the movement of the penguin and also in a range of activities such as performing tricks on a snowboard, fishing and even disco dancing! All of these elements are incredibly well designed with children in mind. Where this Disney game works well is that the level of difficulty is spot on - tricky enough to challenge the older player (Club Penguin itself is aimed primarily at the 6-14 age group), but also accessible by the very youngest player.
We found that our daughter was able to play by herself straight away - you will need a fairly good level of reading to understand what is going on, in the best tradition of Guybrush Threepwood (remember Monkey Island?) adventure game heros you have to speak with characters to find clues - there's no speech as such, so there is a fair bit of reading of speech bubbles. At 6, nearly 7, our daughter did need a bit of assistance at times - hence my good knowledge of the game, but was keen to find the answers to mysteries herself, and happy to play the mini-games again and again.
The game progresses over 12 missions or so and is autosaved each time you complete a mission or score points in a mini-game. The music is the same as the website - a little grating to parents perhaps but seemingly not annoying to children. The cartoon style graphics are surprisingly faithful to the original website, this being Disney if you like the settings or characters you can also buy them in a playset or plush form should you so wish. The graphics are quirky and attractive and there's quite a lot of detail to every scene. Like many other adventure games you can pick up and combine objects, again this provides challenge and interest to the game. As you progress you build up a spy machine that can decode secret messages, clean and communicate with others, amongst other things. An added dimension to the game is the inclusion of the "puffles" - little furry animals that you control with a whistle (virtual on the screen and real as you blow into the DS microphone). They all have names like "flare" or "bouncer" which give you an idea of their abilities, which you will need to use in order to progress in some of the missions.
This isn't the longest of games, and each progressively difficult mission is quite short but it should provide for a fair few hours play to work through the mysteries, and a few more before your child gets tired of the mini-games. I have to confess that we did end up looking for a walkthrough now and then at points in the game when trying to work out where in the penguin world a wrench was hidden or how a door could be opened became too frustrating. That's not to say that the game overall was frustrating or too difficult - as I said at the start there's no doubting its childfriendliness. Adults may enjoy the odd touch of humour too (ninja penguins anyone?) - its just a likeable and intuitively controlled game for young and old alike. The game has also got a multi-player option - you can play on two linked up ds's with no further cartridge required. We haven't uploaded our coins as, as already mentioned we do not subscribe to club penguin and have no plans to do so, but this hasn't prevented my daughter (and me too) really enjoying this game.
There is a bewildering range of games available for children, but as I said at the start this is, in my experience, one of the better games that they will actually enjoy playing. There's nothing inappropriate, and whilst I can't really pretend it's educational, challenging and interesting it certainly is, and all in all it's a very good game. The developers have packed a lot into this game which works well on this platform and, at currently under £20 (we picked it up for £12.99), it's probably a must for any new Nintendo player. Highly recommended by us.
I found out about Penguin club which primarily is and online game from my daughter who had a sleep over.
What is it?
You have your own penguin which you can play games with to earn coins by playing games. The coins can then be used to buy things for you house and clothes for your penguin. As you go through you meet new people that are also on-line but the only drawback is you can't actually search for friends very easily unless you know exactly where they are and what server they are on.
This is a mini game that has taken some of the best elements from the game and put them in a portable version. You can play the mini games and make money while on the go which can then be transferred to your online account to spend on items there. There is a part to the games where you investigate mysteries and be a detective which my daughter loves following all the clues, these can take a good while to complete so we save these for long car journeys.
T the time I wasn't much of a bargain hunter and bowed to pester power and I originally bought if for £29.99 in Game but took it back when I got it out of ASDA for £19.99 but this was when it was first released. It is as low as £5.61 after doing a Google search for it. So a bargain.
Would I recommend it?
If your child is hooked on the online game it as well worth it. Ours has had hours of play and I had a little go and to be honest it is very good, the games are easy enough for a child and they will keep them amused. The benefit of the game is the fact you can link both the DS game and the online one up which there's not many games you can do that with. Great.
Club Penguin is an on-line phenomenon that has wept up kids across the world. What essentially is a kiddies MMORPG is a game where you control a cute penguin that competes in mini games to but houses, clothes, pets and other stuff. Now the mini-game element has been sucked out and jammed into an amusing little DS game.
You follow you awesome mini penguin through a mini espionage story ark parallel to the on-line game where you compete in games, investigate and all in all earn coins. One very interesting mechanic is that you can transfer you coins earned in the DS game to you on-line account to spend on goodies, so mini kiddies can make the munnies on the GO!!!!
I brought the game off a mate for a gift for a younger relative, I popped it in my DS to wipe the save data and decided to check it out, ITS SOO ADDICTIVE. My personal favourite is the fishing game, I could do that for hours.
On the down side most of the mini game are lifted from the on-line game so if you play both there isn't much variety, also the games are stupidly easy. For and Club Penguin subscribers this is and ace way to coin farm.
Overall its and ace game, I wouldn't buy it for myself but younger ones would love it.