Genre: Video GamesEducational
Release Date: 12/21/2007
Platform(s): Windows, Mac
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: NR
Common Sense Says: Start your own wolf pack in this realistic adventure.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that WolfQuest is a free online educational simulation where kids take on the role of a wolf in search of a mate. The game requires the player to chase and kill gazelle and hare for meals, and some blood is shown. They may also need to fend off (kill) coyote and bears. Eventually, the player will need to feed and protect their pups, who may fall victim to predators. The game also requires players to mark their territory by peeing around their den. There is a multi-player option with a chat that is filtered, but not moderated. This can create the possibility for inappropriate messages, bullying, and other negative behaviors. However, kids can also opt for a private, password-protected chat with friends.
- Families can talk about the circle of life. Why do wolves kill other animals?
- They can also talk about communication. How do wolves communicate? How is it different from the way we communicate? How is it the same?
- There is some violence in this game when wolves kill or eat other animals. What is the impact of media violence on kids?
What's the story?
WOLFQUEST follows the story of a lone wolf in search of a mate. The first chapter of the game is about staying fed, meeting other wolves, and eventually choosing a mate. The second chapter involves choosing a den, caring for wolf pups, marking your territory, and fending off predators. Eventually, you and your new pack must make a dangerous journey to a new home.
Is it any good?
WolfQuest is a compelling simulation that's bound to draw kids into what it is like to be a wolf. Using 3D graphics, the game immerses you in the story as you communicate with other wolves, warn off enemies, hunt prey, and raise a family. However, navigating using the keyboard can be frustrating. Once you get past that, however, WolfQuest is a fun way to learn more about wolves. The second chapter, in particular, is engaging and is broken up into several smaller tasks, making it easy to save.
How to play
Playbility: The game has a lot of keyboard controls that can be overwhelming, but it has a keyboard map that is easily accessible at any time. The game is also lacking instruction early on, and it may not be clear how to progress for first-time players. The second chapter of the game has better instructions throughout.
The Good Stuff
Messages: The game aims to be a realistic portrayal of the life of a wolf. The player does need to nurture and protect their young, and the game may encourage the protection of wolves in the wild.
Educational Value: Kids can learn about wolves, how they communicate, and what it takes for them to survive and thrive.
Role Models: As the "characters" are wolves, their behavior is instinctual for survival.
Ease of play: The game has a lot of keyboard controls that can be overwhelming, but it has a keyboard map that is easily accessible at any time. The game is also lacking instruction early on, and it may not be clear how to progress for first-time players. The second chapter of the game has better instructions throughout.
What to watch out for
Violence Kids will need to guide their wolf to hunt and eat other animals. The animals get bloody as they are eaten, but it's not particularly graphic.
Sex: The game asks kids to find a mate and when they do, they eventually have puppies. There is no reference to sex or where the puppies come from in the game.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue