Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Bee Movie Game

Bee Movie Game

Spring 2008 Video Games
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Price: $49.99
Gaming System: X Box 360/ Playstation 2
Based on the movie created by Jerry Seinfeld, the game takes a bee's eye view focusing on the adventures of a young honeybee named Barry B. Benson. Just out of college, Barry is all abuzz about starting off life in the real world. For most bees, that means joining the beehive workforce at the Honex Corp.

Early in the game, Barry must find his way around the gigantic hive-city factory. He tries out for various jobs (read: mini games and puzzles), including collecting honey, delivering food and driving a taxi. For break time, there's an arcade with bee-versions of classic videogames.

But Barry wonders what life's like beyond the hive-in the world of humans. He gets a taste of that world after earning a job with the "flyboys," the aerial bee crews that collect pollen. All isn't sweet as honey in the real world, he learns. Flying isn't kids' stuff and dangers abound. Nasty battalions of mosquitoes and wasps turn the game into a clunky but fun flight-combat simulator. A rainy downpour is like the sky's falling for bees. And angry humans spell all sorts of trouble, though Barry does strike up a friendship with a kindly florist named Vanessa.

Barry's Bee New World unfolds in colorful, though not stunning, 3-D animation. Many of its graphics come from the flick, but overall the look isn't XBOX-amazing. The gaming is easy-to-medium in difficulty, more amusing than hilarious. It definitely plays to younger children, more like kids 8-10 than the 8-12 range Activision recommends.

Educational value? Other than seeing the world through what a human comedian thinks a bee's perspective is, not much here. There is an underlying sense of "Seinfeld" in the dialogue, interjecting moments of adult humor (not dirty) and casual cultural references kids won't get. But that's the trend in children's movies and videogames, isn't it? Though this game's not nearly as adult-snarky as Shrek and Over The Hedge. And younger kids won't even notice as they make a bee-line to its silly antics and cheery animation.
Don Oldenburg   ©2008 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Toys R Us
Target Stores
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Electronics Stores
Activision, Inc.

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