Meh. I don't have this game anymore. VIP forgot about it as soon as the review was completed. It was a unique idea that, in retrospect, was produced in a less than effective manner.
December 21, 2010
The game comes with a plush baby that a Wii remote is stuck into. The game primarily uses the nunchuck for most mini-games. If you are familiar with other games in the “Mama” series, the set up and look of Babysitting Mama is similar. Bright colors and cute animation is used. The game starts with one baby, and goes through several series of mini-games to earn points, medals, and additional babies.
Game Play: I personally tested the game and also observed a 12, 7, and an almost 5-year-old playing the game. Most of the mini-games were difficult for the younger girls. One mini-game that had stumped me (giving the baby milk), was easy for the 12-year-old after a second attempt. The two younger girls still enjoyed playing even if they didn’t do well at the games. Any games that use the baby involve rocking or patting the baby. The nunchuk is used for a majority of the games, and can be awkward to handle when it is attached to a baby.
Design: You can unlock pictures, mini-games, and new babies as you get silver and gold medals (similar to the other games in the “Mama” series). The ‘tween enjoyed unlocking new things, playing new mini-games, and getting better scores on games she had already played. The two younger girls liked the interaction with the baby while watching Mama. I played through several of the mini-game series and started finding them repetitive. After a while I was content watching the other girls play.
Message: Two positive messages I took away from playing this game. The first one is prominent in all of the games. Even if you don’t do well, Mama will fix it, or you will do better next time. Everything is positive and happy. The other message is more serious, and one kids should respect especially if they have little brothers or sisters: be gentle and don’t shake the baby.
Baby: The baby was actually the one part of the game I didn’t really approve of. Though, my daughter was an instant fan of the baby because it is made from a really soft fabric. I liked the originality of having a baby for a controller, but now, along with game play annoyances, I am trying to find a place to store the baby when it is not in use. The remote has to sit just right in the back of the baby to register game play movement correctly. The twelve inch tall plush baby is awkward to handle when you are trying to play the game primarily with the nunchuk. And finally, the baby is really not used for more than lots of rocking and patting during the game. I don’t know if the baby is really necessary for game play or if it is just a really cool (and soft) marketing tool.
Personally, I found some of the mini-games controls to be touchy, some of the games were repetitive, some of the goals were frustrating to reach, and the baby (although cute) was annoying. But the three test subjects really liked the game. The two girls we were visiting are anxious for me to bring Babysitting Mama with me the next time I visit.
The kids, who are the demographic Babysitting Mama is aimed at, really liked the game. If you know a little girl who likes Wii, the “Mama” series, and dolls who is between the ages of 5 and 12 this game is probably a safe purchase.
Babysitting Mama is available for $39.99 on Amazon.
*This game was given to me for review purposes*