It’s the beginning of summer, and kids across the country will soon be sent to all manner of summer camps. But the one big summer excursion that many kids dream of attending is Space Camp. However, it’s pretty expensive to go, so only a lucky few kids actually get the chance. But now, aspiring young astronauts can enjoy the fun of Space Camp right in their own living room with the Space Camp video game for Nintendo Wii.
Before arriving at camp, players customize their in-game avatar by gender and outfit them with all sorts of space gear. As you play the game, you’ll unlock even more goodies for your character. In the first part of the adventure, you’ll earn official Space Camp patches by successfully completing mini-games based on astronaut training exercises. Once you earn all the patches, you’ll put those training skills to the test as you embark on a real life moon mission adventure!
Play control is done entirely with the Wii remote as you point and waggle your way through the various mini-games. On the map screen, simply point the remote and your kid cadet will walk there. The mini-games use a wide variety of motion controls. You’ll tilt the Wii remote to operate a robotic arm, swing it to dig up moon rocks, and point to zap dangerous meteors from hitting your moon base. Most of the mini-games are pretty easy, but there are a few that may take a few attempts to master. You can also play the mini-games with the whole family in Multiplayer Mode.
Space Camp is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence. But really, the only slightly violent thing I could find was shooting space rocks. Everything else is as kid-friendly as can be. The Space Camp game could even be considered educational, as it is chock full of fun facts about outer space, NASA, and the real life Space Camp. Plus, kids can also see how training exercises are used in real life situations in space.
Even though there is spoken voice to go along with most of the in-game text, reading skill is still helpful for some of the mission objectives and mini-game instructions. While most of the mini-games are pretty easy to figure out and beat, there are a few toughies that may frustrate younger, less experienced players and they may need help from an older gamer. There’s a game similar to the arcade classic Lunar Lander in particular that gave me a lot of trouble, and the only bad thing is you can’t advance the adventure until you beat the mini-games. Even the tougher ones.
I couldn’t recommend Space Camp on the Wii to older, hardcore gamers. But for youngsters who enjoy learning about outer space, astronauts, and dream of going to Space Camp someday, they might enjoy the Space Camp video game. Provided they have some skill in playing Wii mini-games, of course.