Science Papa is Activision's answer for men who wanted to give Cooking Mama a try but weren't exactly drawn to the concept. Now, you can play a Wii video game that's similar in many ways to Cooking Mama, only based on a concept that's a little more attractive to men.
If you and your kids love Bill Nye: The Science Guy or Beakman's World, then Science Papa is definitely one of the 5 best Wii video games for you and your kids. Spend a little quality time playing an entertaining video game that makes learning science fun and satisfying.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
This game uses simple and easy to learn gameplay but the dialogue and language used in the experiments are probably too complex for the average boy or girl to easily understand. An understanding of basic science-based language is a definite plus when playing the game.
The challenge is in how quickly and efficiently you can complete the experiments as they increase in complexity. People who have played Cooking Mama will feel like they have played this game before and the experience feels the same in many respects. You still tilt the Wii remote to pour liquids, make a swirling motion to stir and focus your microscope by turning the remote slightly to reveal slides of DNA.
This game does a good job of keeping the gameplay fresh by upgrading existing equipment and introducing new equipment to the game. The few tasks that you do have to repeat feel a little different using this system. Experiments you have already completed but need to do again feel different with a new set of tools and upgraded equipment that helps you to complete the experiments more quickly.
It is a great video game for couples to compete against each other but it isn't one of the 5 best Wii video games for couples available.
Graphics (3 out of 5)
Science Papa has nice visuals with reasonable detail in the equipment, characters, and environmental backgrounds. The colors are bright, clear and distinct, the items in the environments are easy to distinguish from each other, and there's a nice variety in the included cut scenes.
They should have included an option to skip the cut scenes. Once you have seen them, there's no point to being forced to watch them again.
The animations used for the game are simple but useful and informative and help you learn the gameplay as you progress through the experiments. All the animations included were smooth and flawless, even as the experiments became increasingly complex, the animations continued to be solid.
Sound (3 out of 5)
The soundtrack of this game includes upbeat tunes for the intense moments of science competition and quieter electronic tunes that help you concentrate during the training experiments. The sound quality of the soundtrack is excellent, but the tunes do repeat often.
The voice acting is pretty good but the science based language used during the gameplay is pretty complex and doesn't include any hints for players who don't have the necessary science background.
Control System (3 out of 5)
This game allows you to stir, pour, crush and mix the ingredients you need for your experiments with a useful control system that uses the Wii remote to great effect. The experiments do become increasingly complex, but the control system stays strong throughout the adventure and no Wii remote accidents were experienced.
They didn't implement Wii MotionPlus with the game, which is too bad because the entertainment value of this title would have been greatly improved with an intelligent implementation of the Wii MotionPlus accessory.
Storyline (3 out of 5)
In this game, you take on the role of a new laboratory assistant working for Science Papa. Your job is to complete e-mail orders for various chemical solutions while also preparing to compete against other scientists for the prestigious Helix award. You begin by preparing a few simple experiments that act as a tutorial to teach you about the laboratory equipment and procedures you'll be using in the science competitions.
Once you have the basics of the gameplay you'll begin entering competitions against Papa's older students, before moving onto the real competitions. You'll get to make soap, weed killer, hair dye, potato based sugars, and even do a little gene-splicing to make a vegetable of a different color.
Overall… (4 out of 5)
Science Papa is an entertaining video game that can help teach basic techniques to all ages of science fans. A great Wii video game for children with an inquisitive nature, it is a great way for adults to review a few things about science they have forgotten with their kids. It is one of the 5 best Wii games for hardcore gamers who are also science fans.