PAW Patrol has to be my sons favourite TV show. In fact we had a PAW Patrol themed birthday party for his third birthday during lockdown 2020. When I saw they were releasing a new video game, it seemed like he’d enjoy it – but at 3.5, I wondered if it would be appropriate and how he’d manage to play it. We’ve been playing it on Xbox, but it’s also available for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. Here’s the Amazon link if you’re interested in checking it out.
This is the first video game William has played with a controller, although he’s watched me playing games before, so if you have a child who is completely new to video games, then this review might help you.
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay is rated PEGI 3, so it’s deemed suitable for three years and over. To be honest I think it’s pretty universal, I’ve not seen anything that would be inappropriate for any age, just like the show, it’s very wholesale and family friendly, so the starting age would just be what age you’re comfortable with your child playing a video game, and what age you think they can manage the simple controls.
In PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay we can play all of the cast of PAW Patrol, and these are the Mighty Pups, so they have their superhero powers. Ryder walks us through a series of emergencies which require us to get out in the world and rescue characters very similar to the show, like saving the monkeys from lava, or finding Chickoletta when she’s run away. There are a total of seven different adventure missions, as well as seven mini games like collecting items, and playing Pup Pup Boogie.
This is a fully co-op game. If you’re playing in single player you control two characters and switch between them, but player two can drop in and out at any time during any mission. This is super good for kids, as it means mum or dad can play along with them, but if frustrations get too high like they can’t make a jump, which is definitely an issue for my three year old, you can easily switch and do both characters without having to take their controller off them to help them. So they still feel in control and part of the action. If you’re playing on Nintendo Switch, you can separate the two joycons to play together. If you’re playing on Xbox or PS4 you will need a second controller.
Difficulty wise, my three year old does struggle with some of the jumps. It’s basically run around in any direction with the direction stick, hit A to jump and Y for special actions (it pops up on screen). Mini games are again very simple, hitting the right key or moving the directional controller. From three I’d say most kids will be able to grasp most of the movement and special actions, but may not have the reflexes or co-ordination to make certain jumps or do timed events. By four I’d think this game is much easier, but still require supervision, and certainly by five I’d expect kids to be able to play by themselves or with a friend or sibling. This would be a great game for siblings to play together, as there’s no competition – everything is shared, so hopefully no arguments will break out!
For the upper age range, I’d say if your kids still enjoy watching the show, they’ll get a kick out of controller the characters, using their special abilities and saving the day. For more advanced gamers there are extra bonuses like collecting all of the pup treats, unlocking all the stickers and basically 100%’ing the game.
The only downside is I do feel the game is a bit short. Each level takes maybe 30-45 minutes to complete and there are seven levels. You might want to go back and complete them twice to collect all the pup treats, but I think even with playing all the mini games, 10-15 hours is probably enough time to complete this. At three my son is quite happy to watch the same season of PAW Patrol over, and over, and over, and over, and over… so I suspect he’ll be quite happy to play this game repetitively too but older children might blow through this very quickly.
I only allow him to play 30 minutes at a time and only a few times a week, so for us a 10-15 hour game does last quite a while for us and I’m happy that I bought it. It’s available on disc in all formats from Amazon.
Playing age appropriate video games can have a lot of benefits for children. It helps their hand eye co-ordination and engages them mentally when the game has a puzzle or something they have to figure out. Entertainment can boost their mood and mental health, and co-operative games like PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay! can encourage working together and bonding. I personally feel that a small amount of gaming time can be full of benefits for young children.
Tech, gaming and media is something that’s really important to me, that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, reading about and writing about since having William. I’ve written a guide on Simple Parenting Guidelines for Media and Screen Time usage. It’s really important to have rules and boundaries, and to understand the media that our children are consuming, and when those are applied and in moderation, I’d definitely give this new PAW Patrol game a thumbs up for young children.