If you liked Nintendogs, you'll probably love this. Ubisoft is launching a range of four educational 'Planet Rescue' games for the Nintendo DS and Wii to teach kids about environmental issues and endagered animals. It's timely stuff considering just last week the International Union for Conservation of Nature described mammals as facing an "extinction crisis" in the non-touchscreen world.
The four games are designed for 6-12 year old children and the titles are fairly self-explanatory. On the DS, we'll see Ocean Patrol, Animal Emergency and Endangered Island. Wii owners get Wildlife Vet.
As well as grooming tomorrow's environmentalists, Ubisoft is donating an unspecified percentage of sales to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Apparently Irwin's kids "enjoy playing the Planet Rescue games while travelling."
Personally, remembering back to my days as a 6-12 year old, my favourite gaming pursuits were annihilating aliens in R-Type and dodging psychopathic pixels on Manic Miner. Intuition tells me today's youth would rather play Sonic Chronicles on their DS and go to a donkey sanctuary in Devon rather than play educational eco games. But I could be horribly out of touch judging from the previous success of every DS game featuring virtual animals.
The DS Planet Rescue games are out 14 November for £30 each in the UK, with Wildlife Vet following on the Wii for £40 from 28 November.