Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Get Puzzled!

Get Puzzled!

Spring 2008 Video Games
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Price: $24.99
Gaming System: Leapster Learning Game System
Review:
In many ways, pen-and-paper games can't hold a candle to electronic ones. With "word search" on paper, for example, the game is over as soon as you've circled the hidden words. But an electronic version constantly refreshes itself with new grids of hidden letters, while also letting you click on a word or letter to hear what it sounds like. Start mastering the game, and the computer dials up the difficulty level.

"Get Puzzled," scores well on all those counts. It features six mind-bender activities with over 300 one-minute puzzles. One is an adaptation of the old-fashioned hidden word search game. Another tests a children's memory and visual discrimination by asking them to reconstruct a monster (reattaching arms, legs, eyes and ears) in exactly the same way it appeared at the beginning of the game. A logic puzzle challenges children to assign objects like hats, mustaches, tie and eyeglasses to two or three characters on the screen - while satisfying each character's requirements ("I want a tall hat. I want my hat to be the same color as my tie.") Other games focus on spatial skills, strategy, and mathematics.

In tests with children ages 4 to 6, the games at the first two levels were demanding enough to keep them engaged, but not so difficult as to make the young players irritable or frustrated. The audio instructions are clear and unobtrusive; the graphics are simple, quirky and appealing. The software tallies how many puzzles a child has completed and rewards them with "superpower" level of highly advanced puzzles by the end. Don't be surprised if Moms and Dads start begging to borrow the stylus so they can play too.

Lisa Guernsey   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Author of Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age 5 (Basic Books, Sept 2007)

Look for this product at:
Scholastic Interactive
http://www.scholastic.com
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000NRVFTA/parentschoice-20

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