Think of the Children


posted 8/22/2007 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
Platforms: Multiple
This is the inaugural edition of a new weekly article called “Think of the Children”, taking a look at the latest games to be rated by the ESRB. Being the inaugural edition of this article, the initial list is the last 25 games that the ESRB rated which could be more or less than average. This article will show up exclusively on GamingNexus every Wednesday.
The great thing about the ESRB ratings is that when they get posted on the ESRB site, you can always dig into them to find some juicy little nuggets to fuel speculation, buzz and even paranoia. This week was no exception, as one platform had an unusual amount of rated games, two games had their coming out party and the “true” next-gen consoles basically were almost nowhere to be found with the exception of one highly touted game that was rated, but still came up three weeks short of the competition.
While I was pawing over the list, the first thing that jumped out was the amount of Macintosh games that were rated. Five of the 25 were Mac exclusives or multi-platform. Consider that there had only been five Mac games of the previous 75 rated. Granted three were expansion packs or sequels, but still, it’s good to see developers taking an active role in keeping games going on the Macintosh.
It may not come as any surprise to some, but the ESRB has been notorious at “leaking” unannounced games when they post the ratings on their site. They have taken a liking to spoiling the Wii Virtual Console releases before they hit. Looking over this week’s list was no exception, as Indiana Jones 2008 (appears to be a working title) for PSP and Live Free and Die Hard for the Xbox 360 both popped up. The Live Free and Die Hard is especially interesting, because the movie is wrapping up in dollar theaters after releasing almost two months ago on June 27, 2007. As for Indiana Jones 2008 on PSP, it does not appear to be the Lego version, as it was slapped with a 'T for Teen rating due to Violence. It could be one of those completely revamped PSP versions of a console release that we have seen in the past.
Lastly, there was almost no representation from the three next-gen consoles (especially the true next-gen PS3 and Xbox 360), as the Wii had three rated games and the PS3 and Xbox 360 one each. The previously mentioned Live Free and Die hard was the lone Xbox 360 game, while John Woo Presents: Stranglehold Collectors Edition for the Playstation 3 was rated, it (and the regular edition) will still be released on 9/17/07, a full three weeks after the Xbox 360 version hits retailers shelves on 8/28/07.
Just to sum up where the ESRB placed everything, there were 25 rated games on nine platforms. Windows PC (10), Nintendo DS (7) and Macintosh (5) had the most games rated. There were 19 of the 25 games at E10+ or lower, six rated at T for Teen and one rated at M for Mature (John Woo Presents: Stranglehold Collectors Edition for Playstation 3). Alcohol, Violence, Simulated Gambling and the ever crazy Comic Mischief were the leading reasons for games getting tagged.

Game Platforms Publisher ESRB rating
Backyard Football 2008 Windows PC, PlayStation 2, Wii Atari, Inc. E
Cars Mater-National Macintosh, Windows PC, PlayStation 2, Wii THQ Inc E
Front Mission Nintendo DS Square Enix, Inc E10+
Mahjongg XP Championship 2 - Kanji Edition Windows PC Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E
Puzzle XP Championship 2 Windows PC Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E
Smart Boy's: Gameroom Nintendo DS UFO Interactive Games E
Smart Kid's: Gameclub Nintendo DS UFO Interactive Games E
Texas Hold 'Em Real Limit Edition Windows PC Selectsoft Publishing / MPS T
The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff Macintosh Aspyr Media, Inc. T
Thrillville: Off the Rails DS Nintendo DS LucasArts E
Travelogue 360: Paris Macintosh Aspyr Media, Inc. E
Virtual Villagers: A New Home Macintosh Aspyr Media, Inc. E10+
Cars Mater-National Nintendo DS THQ Inc E
Destination: Treasure Island Windows PC Dreamcatcher Interactive Inc. E10+
Hooked! Real Motion Fishing Wii Aksys Games Localization, Inc. E
Indiana Jones 2008 PSP LucasArts, a division of Lucasfilm T
Mahjong Quest Expeditions Nintendo DS Activision Publishing E
Reel Deal Slots Ghost Town Windows PC Phantom EFX, Inc. T
30,000 Games Windows PC Selectsoft Publishing / MPS E10+
Backyard Football Nintendo DS Atari, Inc. E
Democracy Macintosh, Windows PC Tri Synergy T
Live Free or Die Hard Xbox 360 Sensory Sweep Studios T
Petz Hamsterz Life 2 Game Boy Advance Ubisoft Entertainment Inc. E
Puzzle Detective Windows PC Joju Games Inc. E

Until next week, make sure you know what your kids will be playing……
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