IGN Review of Go, Diego, Go!: Great Dinosaur Rescue
When I first received my review copy of 2K Play and Black Lantern Studios' Go, Diego, Go! Great Dinosaur Rescue for DS, I couldn't help but smile. This is the type of game reviewers show their friends to get a good laugh. But at the same time I was a little worried. It may not seem like it, but this sort of game can be very tricky to evaluate. To be totally honest, I don't know if this review is even necessary. Did I have fun with this game? Well, not really. Would your preschooler? If they enjoy the show, then yeah, they probably will. What else is there to say?
If you're unfamiliar with the series, Go, Diego, Go! is an educational children's show running on Nick Jr. It's a spinoff of Dora the Explorer, and uses a similar style of audience interaction; talking to the kids at home, asking them questions, and encouraging viewer participation. Diego travels around the world teaching kids about animals, and since Diego is a Hispanic character they'll learn a bit of the Spanish language in every episode. The stories aren't very deep, but the real goal of the show is to stimulate the minds of the preschool audience -- something children today certainly need more of.
Great Dinosaur Rescue is based off a recent half-hour episode, and follows the same formula to the letter. The tasks in the game are all extremely simple and basically function as an interactive version of the episode. Players will be given simple tasks that include matching fossils to images on the top screen, finding hidden dinosaurs in the jungle, building puzzles, and speaking words out loud. Most of these things are done in the show as well, so you probably know exactly what to expect. All the tasks are extremely basic, but will probably be enough to keep most preschoolers entertained for a while. There are a couple extra modes; most notably a simple coloring pad. It's extremely basic, but it's something kids could definitely have fun with once the game ends.
There is no way to fail in this game, and there is constant positive reinforcement. Players can make as many mistakes as they need to, and the game's only response is "oops, try again". This makes it possible for anyone to complete the game in about the same time it takes to watch an episode of the show. It's basically a portable episode, but for the young fans of the series that might not be a problem. It has the same replayability as if you were to buy a single episode on DVD. If your child is the type that can pop in the same video everyday and sit contently as if it were the first time, then they might be able to do the same with this game. If not, then you might want to consider another purchase.
The fact that the game is based off a single episode is probably the title's biggest shortcoming. What is there is not bad, but it could have been so much more. A game containing multiple episodes would have added significant value. Toss in a bit more variety and some full motion video, and your kids would have the perfect travel companion for those long boring car rides.
The game does an excellent job recreating the feel of the show. All the characters lend their voices to the game, and every task is clearly explained out loud to the player. For a game aimed at such young children, this is a must. The music will sound familiar to fans of the show as well. There are only a few different tracks, but they all sound like they were plucked right out of an episode.
The games are usually accompanied by snap shots taken from the series. They look decent, but as I said before, it would have been nice to have full-motion video instead. Filling in the spaces between games with short clips of the dinosaur episode would have been a great way to keep kids attention for longer, and if nothing else, it could function as more of an episode away from home.
©2008-12-04, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved