Sesame Street Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece The Videogame
© 2012 Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Wii, Nintendo DS
Teaches: Music, instruments, dance, English, Spanish
Excellent Sesame Street programming is sandwiched between 18 clumsy games that deal with basic musical concepts. As a result, children spend nearly as much time watching, waiting and listening to instructions as they do moving, exploring or dancing. We reviewed both the DS and Wi...
Excellent Sesame Street programming is sandwiched between 18 clumsy games that deal with basic musical concepts. As a result, children spend nearly as much time watching, waiting and listening to instructions as they do moving, exploring or dancing. We reviewed both the DS and Wii versions; the ratings apply to the DS version which are slightly higher due to the more concrete touch and swipe control mechanism. For the Wii version, you hold the Wii Controller handlebar style, and lean left, right or jump. This has problems because the leaning motion isn't directly associated with the screen motions. This disconnect between your lean and Elmo's hop is a big deal because it blurs your feeling of control. It also is not a good choice when menu items are presented in a grid, with up and down choices, when you can only lean left and right. Once inside some of the activities, you can jump, dance, or speak into the microphone to collect sidescrolling notes, but the sluggish interactivity makes it possible to "win" with random movement. The default background music has nothing to do with the song or the sounds you are supposed to be learning about. You can turn this music off but it is a less-than-straightforward process. Finally, you don't know how many times you have to collect, sort or count, which can make you feel trapped, wondering "how long before this is over" in some of the games. Most activities like this provide some sort of visual mapping mechanism. Strengths include authentic music (for the Wii version) and original TV-quality narration, and an innovative tracking system that can keep detailed records for up to three different children, letting you see how much time a child has spent on each game. In addition, the DS version lets you make a playlist from the 18 games, so you can customize which activities your child will play. But you can't make a good playlist from low quality games. You can learn more about these games at www.sesamestreetvideogames.com, or see CTR's video review, at http://youtu.be/1QidJtwrXHM.