You all know what a tv fanatic I am, so it should be no surprise that I’m a huge fan of America’s Next Top Model — so is one of my girls! When I told her we’d have the chance to play America’s Next Top Model (by Conspiracy) on the Wii, she got so excited that it actually made me laugh! When the game arrived, I noticed that it was rated “E” but had an advisory for ages 10+. We were already planning to play the game together, but I decided to check through it to make sure it was appropriate for her (as she is almost 8).
After reading the booklet that accompanied the game, and trying out the game on my own, I decided it was appropriate for us to play together and we got started!
For those who are familiar with the television series, the game follows a similar format. To play the game, you “take on the role of one of 10 contestants aspiring to be the next big supermodel…One model is dismissed each week following a special challenge - just make sure it’s not you! To succeed, the player must convince a very critical jury at various events such as catwalk shows, photo shoots, etc. There are also interactive story elements, which depend on the relationships with the other contestants, boyfriends, admirers and jurors. Will you play the Sweetheart and be everyone’s best friend? Or will you claw your way to the top through catfights and cunning? Choose the path to your destiny as America’s Next Top Model.”
The first thing she was able to do was choose her character and name her. She then decided to go into Story Mode and head off to put herself into the world of America’s Next Top Model. I was surprised to find that Tyra and Mr. Jay weren’t characters in the story, but that didn’t stop my girl from loving her way through it! She started the game by looking around the estate where the models would live and then by meeting the models. She had options of things she could say to the other characters so I would read her choices to her (as she couldn’t read all of the text yet, though she was able to read some things). I also explained how characters that liked her had a happy face above them, those who were neutral had a neutral face and those who disliked her had a frown on the face above their head. I actually liked the fact that it showed how people felt about her and gave her choices about the things she could say because it allowed for some character building moments for her! She quickly recognized that if she said nice things to other characters, most of them would start to like her and that some characters didn’t like her no matter what she said (though she was quick to tell me, “I’m going to keep being nice to them because they might change their minds like the other girls did!”). I thought it was an interesting side to this game that I’d never thought about until we played it together!
She loved all elements of the game, from choosing her clothing, being able to work out (which she thought was really fun!) and having her chance to be judged and to walk the catwalk. She also liked that there were a number of different places to travel to – she could leave the estate and go to town (where she could shop, go the gym and the restaurant) and that there was a separate judging area where she could change her clothes and her makeup and get reading to walk the catwalk! She absolutely loves playing now, having spent an hour and a half making her way through the first week of America’s Next Top Model and not being eliminated!
I thought the game was interesting and had some fun elements. It is something I would play as well, though probably in small increments if I was playing it on my own. I liked the workout element of the game (when you had used up too much energy, you had to go to the gym and work out on various pieces of equipment and it gave me a good workout when I tried it!) and choosing the clothing with your allowance was a lot of fun (I wish I had my own shopping allowance just to buy new clothes every week!).
You can get America’s Next Top Model for the Nintendo Wii and the DS Systems. It is available at; Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kmart/Sears, Fred Meyer and Amazon with a suggested retail price of $29.99.