System Requirements:
1.8GHz CPU
128MB 3D Graphics
Windows Vista or XP
Rated E for everyone

As a relatively new stay at home mom, it felt weird playing a game that mimicked my life. Kids are definitely a lot of work but this game makes it pretty fun. The game play is very similar to \'The Sims\'. The babysitter and children have attributes such as hunger, thirst, mood/stress, and hygiene that need to be kept up. When it comes to communication, the speech is all gibberish, but you\'ll have emotion clouds above their head. For example, if a character is happy a sun will show up, and a rain cloud will appear if they are sad.

When you start the game, you can customize your character\'s look a little bit. It\'s not as complex as many RPG\'s out there, but it\'s a nice touch. You can change your babysitter\'s clothing at any time throughout the game. You have goals to achieve, and these vary from taking some babysitting courses, to watching X number of children, to taking some to the park, and so on. To kick off your babysitting endeavours, you\'ll start off with $700. With that money, you\'ll have to buy items such as a crib, high chair, play pen, extra clothing, food, bottles, and diapers. The prices vary, and some of them are a bit too much; especially diapers, which are $7 each. At least you\'ll be making $20 an hour which will offset your expenses.

Babysitting jobs will come to you via e-mail or random drop offs. When a parent arrives, you have the option to accept or reject their child. If you reject them, your reputation will decrease. You have to really listen to what the parents say when they drop off their kid. They will mention allergies, and food or play preferences. The jobs can be for a morning, afternoon, or all day. The number of and ages of kids depends on how much training you have taken. The courses cost $250 each, and you have to take a test afterwards to complete the course.

While you are watching the kids you can take them to the park to ride on the swings or play in the sand. You have to move each child one at a time and remember where you left them. There\'s a mini map that can warp you to different areas of your house or the park with one click. The grocery store, park, pediatrician, and children\'s store are also one click away. I wish it was this easy in real life.

The graphics are good and each person looks unique. Some of the grown ups have unusual hair colors including bright blue or purple. The graphics are on par with The Sims as I remember them. The game\'s overall look and feel is very colorful and modern looking. It reminds me of Windows Vista combined with a touch of Anime. When your character takes a shower, eats, or uses the bathroom, there\'s a splash screen with an anime cartoon character tastefully doing that activity. The interface is pretty easy, intuitive, and easy to use.

The sound is pretty decent too. The background music adds a nice touch and can get stuck in your head. The baby/children sounds are pretty realistic sounding. The language is all gibberish. I think there\'s some Japanese or Chinese spoken when you turn on the television.

I stumbled across some annoying glitches. Occasionally a child would get stuck in a spot and I was not able to pick them up or anything. They were ultimately collected by their parent needing to be fed or changed which I was unable to do. The most annoying bug I found was that my activity blanket completely vanished. I loved using this to set a child down so I could eat in peace. Not only was it annoying that it disappeared, but I spent $95 on it and I could not buy a replacement. I hope they release a patch for the game to fix these bugs.

From an appropriateness standpoint I don\'t have anything bad to say about this game. You don\'t see anything when changing diapers or using the bathroom. This can be a great game to have children play if they are considering babysitting. The training classes available have lots of useful facts and childcare tips and tricks. This game also stresses cleanliness as you have to constantly dust your house to keep it clean.

My Dream Job Babysitter is a fun and informative game at the same time. If you know any aspiring babysitters or \'The Sims\' junkies, they may enjoy this game. My only suggestion is to save often and don\'t delete your older saves right away.

Game Play 16/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 7/10
Interface 5/5
Stability 3/5
Appropriateness 50/50
Overall 88%

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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