Move over Tiny Tears, there’s a new tot in town. At Tokyo Game Show last week Office Create, makers of the successful Cooking Mama series, unveiled a game that takes playing mommy to new heights of sophistication. Made for the Wii, Babysitter Mama allows young children to hone their parenting skills on a stuffed baby doll that comes included with the game disc.
The games begin after you’ve unceremoniously stuffed the Wii remote into the doll’s back, making the pretend infant sensitive to movement. Hold and rock it gently and your baby will slowly drift off to sleep onscreen; drop the brat and all hell will break loose, as the speakers in the remote emit a lifelike simulation of an unhappy baby crying out. The nunchucks double as a bottle with which to feed the infant and a rattle to make him/her laugh.
The fun doesn’t stop there. There are around 40 mini games to play that allow you to practice other homemaking skills. The games include: making soup; giving your child a ride on a seesaw; and getting the washing in from the garden on a rainy day. There’s even a two-player mode for competitively minded young parents. Throughout the game play you can take photos of your smiling baby’s face and compile it into an album to coo over during quieter moments.
While the mama of the title appears as a woman onscreen, according to Game Watch, Office Create is marketing this product, with appropriate political correctness (and perhaps with an eye to the global market) at young boys as well as girls. Further indications that the makers eventually hope to go global with the product, is the fact that the doll’s ethnicity is indeterminate, leaving it up to players to choose the skin tone of the virtual baby that appears on screen.
Baby Sitter Mama goes on shelves in Japan in December, with a ¥6,090 price tag. With so many bells and whistles, the game looks set to take the baby doll market by storm; meanwhile yesteryear’s plastic tots quietly shed a final tear at the back of the toy closet.