Pin It
Favorite

Game Reviews-Games for Young... 

by Marty Demarest


In the spirit of "back to school," families may want to take stock in the uses to which their home computers are being put. "Teen" and "Mature" rated computer games can be fun, but the intellectual benefits they offer are usually slim.


There is, however, an entire genre of games designed to inform. Lumped under the unfortunate name "edutainment," titles in this genre are produced primarily for preschoolers and young children. Far from being merely palavers for concerned parents, however, preschool computer games can be as technologically advanced and entertainingly conceived as their more mature counterparts.


One of the most engaging titles currently available for the anklebiter set is Jump Start Animal Adventures. In it, kids explore four different environments filled with native animals. Along the way, they pick up information about each creature through hilarious musical numbers and games. Parents will also appreciate the fact that most children four years old or older will have no problem playing without any assistance, while they pick up science, spatial relationship and computer keyboard knowledge.


A little more classic in style is Where's the Blanket Charlie Brown? In this game, Snoopy guides kids as they try to track down Linus' missing blanket. It's unique in that it allows kids to play as either a male or female character. Its intuitive math and music puzzles and open-ended approach make it a little more challenging than some other games, but children ages five and older shouldn't have any problems.


The most original recent edutainment title, however, is Ollo in the Sunny Valley Fair. In this game, kids help Ollo, a gender-neutral blue ball with expressive eyes, save the residents of Sunny Valley when a prize tomato grows too big and rolls away. A scavenger hunt across six different levels sets the stage for dozens of learning games that are so well integrated into the storyline, kids may not realize they're learning things while they play. Not only do the graphics, games and music all add up to a fully entertaining learning experience, but the game is broken up into chapters, making it easy to digest even for kids with short attention spans.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Between Love and the Law
  • Between Love and the Law

    He was a criminal. She was a crime fighter. Their relationship would cost them both dearly
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • 'All Lives Matter'
  • 'All Lives Matter'

    A deeper look at Pasco as it grapples with the police shooting of a vulnerable man
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Promise Keepers?
  • Promise Keepers?

    The city of Spokane tries to keep its promise not to raise taxes; plus, the fight against public nudity
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Winter Waters 2015

Winter Waters 2015 @ Patsy Clark Mansion

Fri., Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'

    Comments by the wife of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell have raised questions about his office's impartiality
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Fagan's World

    City councilman Mike Fagan has unconventional views on vaccinations. So, what else does he think?
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation