Kai-lan and friends are featured in a new game for the Nintendo Wii, Super Game Day. Like the TV show, the game is geared toward younger kids, and features the same voice actors as well. The characters and settings carry over pretty well from Ni Hao, Kai-lan and my kids really enjoyed playing it.
One of the great things about this one is that the controls are for the most part very simple, mostly just using the position of the Wiimote rather than the buttons, so my three-year-old was able to follow along for most of the games. For Bubble Pop, you hold the Wiimote sideways and tilt back and forth to move, pushing the “2” button to jump. For Dragon Parade you hold it straight up and down, and jump over or duck under obstacles. Even the water balloon toss is a simple swinging motion and doesn’t involve pushing any buttons. I found this particularly nice because little kids have small hands and don’t necessarily have the ability to hold the Wiimote the way an adult hand can.
Also, before each game Kai-lan gives a brief tutorial on how to play. (After the first time you can skip the tutorial.) Both of my kids were able to listen to the instructions, and my six-year-old usually didn’t need any help interpreting. The only two trickier games were Yeye’s Movin’ and Groovin’ (which involves holding the remote and then copying Yeye’s moves) and the Dragon Boat Race (neither of my kids has any idea how to row a boat, sadly).
I was a little disappointed to find that the game doesn’t incorporate any Chinese language learning. However, many of the games do have ties either to Chinese culture or to a specific episode of the show, so my kids were reminded of some of the episodes they had seen.
Playing the games unlocks new areas (for a total of three), and also harder difficulty levels. The number of times you have to play to unlock a difficulty level seemed a bit high at first, but pretty soon my kids were playing “Heavy Bubbles” mode on Bubble Pop, their favorite game.
Overall, I think they did a good job creating a game that really captures the feel of the TV show, and allowing the players to choose their favorite character to use is a great feature, particularly because the characters talk to you during the game. The games are fairly simple, so older kids may lose interest sooner if they aren’t already fans of Ni Hao, Kai-lan. But as a dad, I liked having a game that includes my younger daughter (even though she doesn’t get a whole lot of videogame time yet).
Wired: Kid-friendly controls; play as your favorite character; animation and voice acting matches the show
Tired: No Chinese language learning; probably won’t interest older kids.
The game is from 2K Play: www.2Kgames.com/2Kplay/
Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of the game for review.