Ubisoft delivers the Wii’s first outer-space toddler training simulator.
What four year-old hasn’t wanted to live on a space ship and mess around with a motley collection of animals? This fall, Ubisoft hopes to make every kindergartener’s dreams come true in vivid fashion with Cosmic Family, a game that seeks to bridge the gap between primary education and the irresistible call of video game hi-jinks. The game will take advantage of the Wii Remote’s IR functionality to offer an exploratory point-and-click style adventure for curious children that will provide simple lessons in counting, colors, shapes, the alphabet, and basic object interactivity.
Cosmic Family tells the story of Mom and Dad Cosmic and their precocious and inquisitive three children who all happen to live together on a space ship. The entire game takes place inside the five floors of the space ship in which the children will be able to poke and prod anything and everything on a simple journey of discovery. The space ship will also feature a large collection of exotic and imaginative animals for the player’s inspecting pleasure. The game can be played in Adventure Mode, a treasure hunt of sorts, in which kids are given simple tasks to complete around the spaceship, and rewarded accordingly. Players will also be able to play in Direct Access mode, where they can freely roam around the spaceship engaging in any activity or task that strikes their fancy.
The game will be powered by more than 300 interactive animations and sounds that will teach youngsters a basic cause and effect triggered by poking (or pointing, as it were) at various environmental objects. The game will also feature over twenty mini-games for players to amuse themselves, all while continuing to sharpen their observation, memory, reflex, and logic skills in the colorfully cartoonish environment. Players will be tasked with a diverse group of chores including piloting the space ship, watering plants, brushing some animal’s teeth, and helping some other character get dressed. Additionally, the game will feature three difficulty settings to accommodate the various capacities of both very young children and their older, more coordinated siblings.
It remains to be seen how successfully Ubisoft can pull their ambitiously simple title together, but gamers with families or younger siblings will want to keep their eyes open for Cosmic Family this Fall. We’ve seen games approach art, blockbuster entertainment, sports, and clever puzzles, but can the medium also credibly bring edu-tainment to the mass market audience?
Answers should be just around the corner as Cosmic Family is scheduled to ship September 18, 2007.