Parents, Pokémon Sapphire/Ruby is the type of game that once your kids pick up, you'll be yelling at them to put down and come to dinner. The series has been known to induce drug-like trances on its players. If your kids are due for some major entrance exams, best wait till after the test date to ensure there aren't any distractions. Otherwise, the game is as family friendly as one can get.
Fans of Pokémon will find enough new features to keep them interested at least for certain amount of time. Once the new features are exhausted, the ultimate experience amounts to more or less the same as previous games so if you don't have 50 plus hours to devote to this, think again. Its also disappointing that Pokémon data from previous games cannot be traded to the new ones. For outsiders who have never taken up the "Gotta Catch'em All" challenge, Sapphire/Ruby is a great place to start. The graphics are well polished and the usually complex Pokémon organizational storage system has been improved many times over making this the most accessible version to date. Just make sure you have tons of spare time. Familiarizing oneself to the logic and science of the Pokémon world is often captivating and highly addictive.
For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers, all the menus, battles and story is communicated via text and none of the sound cues are essential to gameplay.