Imagine Teacher - Review Part 2 << Imagine Teacher review part 1
Once your done with the school day, the children scurry on home, but Katie still has work to do. You're given the chance to provide one on one lessons for any of your students that are falling behind. Children are given star ratings based on their performance in literature, science, general studies and art. Boosting your children's academic ratings provides a compelling reason to keep playing the game. The simulated children in your class aren't exactly brimming with personality and the limited amount of dialogue they are given is quickly repeated. Nevertheless, many younger players will fill in the blanks with their imagination. Once you're done with extra curricular lessons, you're even expected to tidy up the classroom. This involves sweeping the stylus over the areas of dirt and then pushing tables back into place by rubbing or curling your stylus on them. It's as dull as it sounds. Finally, you can redecorate your classroom with items bought at the shop.
| Marking your students work is funny, but for the wrong reasons.
Make it to the end of the week and you'll be invited to the staff meeting. Here the sour faced education authority representative Miss Pierce gives you cash based on how you did with your lessons. She'll also tell you what to focus on in the coming week. There's also a story, of sorts, which unfolds in-between the days and weeks spent teaching. The script here is of a low standard however and it's not uncommon to see spelling mistakes and dialogue that doesn't seem to make much sense. During one story section we were told it was science week and that one of the other teachers was going to ask us for help, but nothing out of the ordinary happened during that week at all.
Also disappointing is the cupboard/shop system. School supplies can be purchased, but consumable items like paper never seem to diminish or need restocking. Even more bizarrely, Katie often finds toys that the children lose and stores them in her cupboard, but you are never given the opportunity to hand them back to the children. Instead they simply sit in storage doing nothing. It's as if the developers were going to add in some simple resource management to the game by requiring you to restock the classroom but simply ran out of time or motivation to do so.
The game card also includes a limited multi player mode. There's download play only and four of the mini game lessons can be played head to head. However, since each mini game only lasts around a minute, you typically end up spending more time downloading data to your friends console than you do playing the games. Annoyingly, choosing to play the same game again still results in a long download and it's unlikely that many players will persevere with the multi player for long.
For all its faults though, Imagine Teacher does seem to appeal to its target market of little girls. Again we asked 9 year old Caitlin (who kindly helped us with Imagine Fashion Designer) to help us evaluate the game. Like us, she found the marking section to be quite funny and some of the lessons to be a little repetitive, but the mini games were entertaining enough to keep her playing for several weeks. There aren't many teacher simulators available on the DS, or indeed any games console, so if you're ten years old or younger and you have your heart set on a career as a teacher, then you'll most likely have a lot of fun with Imagine Teacher. Eventually though, the same old simple lessons will start to become repetitive. If you're an older player the game really doesn't offer anything to hold your attention and the mini games on offer are not likely to prove challenging or interesting enough to keep you playing. Imagine Teacher certainly isn't a drop out, but, like so many children's titles it lacks polish and certain aspects feel under-developed. We'd like to see Ubisoft try harder next time, or we might be forced to flunk them back a few grades.
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