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Review CornerToys & Games
Finding Nemo
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
This enchanting adventure game features a dual story line that closely follows the movie on which it is based, enjoyable games and puzzles, and gorgeous graphics. This is a strong CD-ROM that cleverly involves children in an exciting adventure.
Award of Excellence
Ages: 6-9   Subject: Adventure   Brand: THQ
Review Sections: Product Overview  Technically Speaking  Skills Covered  Educational Value  Entertainment Value  Design  Replayability  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
One of two software programs based on the feature film, Finding Nemo, this adventure game truly captivates and involves children in the story of Nemo, a young clownfish, who is separated from his father, Marlin, and Marlin's consequent search for his son. Marlin is a fearful fish who overcomes his fears as he braves the ocean after his son has been captured and placed in an aquarium. He learns an important lesson about trust at the same time.

A clip from the movie opens up the game and sets up the story line. The interactive adventure begins with Marlin meeting the forgetful fish, Dory. Children embark on an adventure to find Nemo, but they quickly discover that they are able to follow Nemo's adventures in a fish tank as well. This program is especially unique because it features two parallel story lines. In the movie, viewers see both Nemo and Marlin's adventures before father and son are reunited. In this software program, players switch between Marlin and Nemo's adventures with a click of the mouse.

In the aquarium, Nemo must win the trust of the Tank Gang before he is privy to the details of a plan to escape the fish tank. Kids help Nemo do just that by earning "friendship totems" from each fish in the tank. Here, kids catch bubbles, swim through a course of Tiki heads in a specific pattern, move colorful gears in the form of a tile puzzle, fling pebbles into the correct slot in the gears by geometric shape, and play other fun games. As Nemo works on gaining friendship totems, Marlin and Dory are braving the ocean in their attempt to get to Sydney Harbor. They meet up with Bruce the shark who brings them to a Fish-a-Holics meeting, attempt to stay in the center of a current as they ride on Crush the turtle, and strategically hop across a forest of jellyfish.

The adventure is not over when Nemo and Marlin find each other. There are more games to play, such as one in which players must pay attention to colors as they attempt to make the fish swim downward so they can free themselves (and Dory!) from a fishing net.

Throughout the adventure, players are treated to clips from the movie that move the story along. This way, children who have not seen the movie can thoroughly enjoy the game. Those that have will treasure the video clips, at least until the movie comes out on video! The music soundtrack is excellent, and the graphics truly help to "immerse" children in the game. The characters are charming, and the CD-ROM is rife with humor. The story itself is captured beautifully. Finding Nemo is a software game with depth, and it's likely to become a favorite program for children ages 6-9.

Technically Speaking
Minimum system requirements are Windows 98/Me/XP/2000, Pentium II 266 MHz (Pentium III 400 MHz recommended), 64 MB RAM, video card with at least 8 MB RAM, 8X CD-ROM, and 160 MB hard drive space. Mac users require a G3 or G4 266 MHz or faster iMac, iBook, PowerBook, Power Macintosh, OS X version 10.2 or later, 128 MB RAM, 8X CD-ROM, 8 MB VRAM, and 160 MB of hard drive space.

Skills Covered
Memory, motor skills, prediction.

Educational Value
Although largely designed for fun, children need to uncover hidden objects, solve problems, and complete puzzles. The challenges are doable and rarely frustrating for children ages 6 and up.

Entertainment Value
The game is immersive with its superior graphics and musical soundtrack, fun humor, and rich story line. Children do not need to see the movie in order to enjoy the game. Video clips from the movie are earned as children progress through the adventure.

Design
An intuitive interface and various game options contribute to the fun of the game. Children can play the program's activities independently of the adventure if they prefer, and video clips earned through the game are accessible for viewing at any time. The inability to interrupt sequences with a click of the mouse was not a problem for our testers, simply because the program's hotspots and interplay between characters were so enjoyable!

Replayability
The dual story line adds depth to the game, and activities are plentiful. Most children will find a lot to do and they are likely to return to the game repeatedly.

Dollar Value
This CD-ROM carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 US.

Released: 2003
Reviewed: June 2003