by Eric Tiansay
Out of all the survival reality shows, Man vs. Wild—the Discovery Channel television series featuring Edward "Bear" Grylls—is my favorite.
I especially like Man vs. Wild because Bear, with his cool British accent, engaging personality and clever demonstrations with survival techniques when faced with nature's extremes, is a committed Christian.
Although Bear was recently let go from Man vs. Wild, that's a story for another time, my two older boys (10-year-old Alex and 9-year-old Andrew) and I still enjoy the show and the Man vs. Wild Game on the Wii.
The game offers in a role play-style adventure, which requires puzzle-solving tasks throughout five expeditions—stranding players in expansive areas of virtual wilderness and challenging them to make it out alive. The action begins when a player, as Bear, is dropped into extreme conditions and forced to demonstrate indigenous survival techniques such as escaping quicksand in the desert, exploring dangerous jungles, traversing ravines in the mountains and navigating some of the world's most treacherous waters.
The player must gather materials to accomplish tasks such as building fires, finding food, water and shelter, fighting off hungry predators in their natural environments, and creating the necessary tools for survival—while traveling across miles of diverse landscapes.
Just like Bear on Man vs. Wild, the player's onscreen persona parachutes into each scene—alone and without helpful equipment. The goal is to make it across the hostile environment to a pre-determined extraction point, while facing emergencies that require cool-headed, quick thinking such as wallowing in a pit of quicksand or being attacked by a shark while aboard a man-made raft.
The game features an informative voiceover commentary from Bear, who explains key concepts and smart techniques. The game was quite a challenge for Alex and Andrew, who didn't particularly like the solo player feature. But overall, it's safe to say that the Man vs. Wild Game is survival of the funnest.