|System: Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 6, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Dog Island really works well as a kids game, not only because of its simplistic premise and easy gameplay, but also because it has very simple controls. You only need the Wii-mote to control this game while using the on-screen cursor to guide your dog with the B button held down. You can sniff using the A button, bark with the minus button, and pull up your menu with the plus button. After you know these four buttons, you have all you need for success. It is amazingly easy to control, and as such, it's just perfect for little kids.
Sound in The Dog Island is quite good, mainly because it has some pretty cute level music. However, it suffers overall because there are no voiceovers. There is a whole bunch of scrolling text you have to read, even during cinema scenes, and it might put some of the younger players off, especially if they are slow readers.
Although the sound is at least passable, the visuals in the game are not. This game looks like a very early GameCube game; it does not have any impressive visual characteristics at all. The game has a lot of unvaried environments, a weak color palette, and some really basic-looking character elements. Even though this game looks pretty bad, I'm guessing the people it is geared toward probably don't care too much. Unless, of course, your eight year old is into counting lines of resolution; then they might care. Although the visuals are pretty bad from a technical standpoint, they serve their purpose.
The Dog Island is a good game for novice gamers. Kids will love the open world system and the fun missions. Even though this title will probably make regular gamers roll their eyes, it is a great beginners RPG.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer