Disney Junior Games Monsters, Inc: Monstropolis Mission

Disney Junior Games Monsters, Inc: Monstropolis Mission

  • 10 multi-level activities
  • Puzzling challenges
  • Goal-based games
  • Award systems
  • Encourage your child to discover, question, observe and understand

If you laughed your way through Monsters, Inc. the movie, then enhance your street cred one step further and treat your little monsters to Monstropolis Mission. The great thing about this CD-ROM is that, while it plays like a video game, it has all the educational qualities of a top-class software package.

All games are goal-based, and each step follows on logically from the last. Everyone starts at the bottom, in the mail room, but multi-level gameplay tied to award systems (earn an Employee of the Day, Month or even Year award) offers an incentive for progression. Once you’ve sorted the mail correctly, you’ll earn a promotion to the Parking Lot, where you must park the company cars. (Surprisingly, this is one of the highlights of the game!)

While all the activities involved are entertaining, each one stretches the brain and must be completed before the next can begin. The graphics are fine, and while they won’t get a PS2 player hot under the collar, they reflect the mood of the film and support the game well. Controls are responsive, and generally the package has a finish and refinement you would expect of the Disney name. It’s good family fun. —Lucie Naylor

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Disney Hotshots Toy Story 2: Cone Chaos / Toy Shelf Showdown

Disney Hotshots Toy Story 2: Cone Chaos / Toy Shelf Showdown

  • Cone Heads: Play as Buzz your favourite Space Ranger
  • Three levels of difficulty
  • 10 different and exciting puzzles per level
  • Play alone or with a friend
  • Toy Shelf Showdown: Fun and exciting arcade game
  • Unlimited playability
  • For ages 3 and up

Woody has been abducted by toy collector Al McWhiggin and his Toy Story pals are off to rescue him. In Toy Story 2–part of the Disney Hotshots series–the toys are camouflaged as traffic cones and you have to guide them across the road to find their kidnapped friend.

Using the arrow keys on your keyboard you can quickly move the cones to the left and right as they make their way across the busy road. The fate of the likes of Mr Potato Head, Slinky Dog and Rex are literally in your hands as big lorries, racing fire engines and cars hurtle towards you.

As the Cone Chaos game gets progressively harder, the traffic speeds up. If it gets too tense, you can always take cover at a manhole. Overall this is a quick-paced game which is easy to learn and entertaining to play.

In the second game in this title, Toy Shelf Showdown, you help Buzz take on and defeat the evil Emperor Zurg. The task is to assemble a rocket ship while avoiding hostile robots and lots of bouncing balls. This is an action-packed game with lots of different twists and turns. Buzz can stun the robots with lasers and if you run out of shots, you have to find a battery for recharging.

Both animated games are introduced by Buzz and Woody and there are good clear instructions with the title on how to play and where to get help. This is your chance, as Buzz says, to go to “interactivity and beyond.” —Justin Hunt

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Disney Learning: Winnie the Pooh Pre-school

Disney Learning: Winnie the Pooh Pre-school

  • Introduces 20 key skills for kids ages 2-4
  • Adjustable levels enhance child’s personal growth
  • Progress reports for parents
  • Printable workbook reinforces what they’ve learned
  • Kids interact with favorite characters, building self-esteem and social skills

This excellent CD-ROM has been produced by Disney in consultation with American educational experts, to enable pre-school children to gain an insight into the learning and understanding of letters, numbers, sequencing, phonics and colour. Based on a Winnie the Pooh story of a journey through the 100-Acre wood, the object of the exercise is to find certain characters so that they can attend a surprise birthday party. There are three levels of difficulty, and these are explained in the black and white users’ manual, obviously aimed at older people, as the program is for two to four-year-olds. The information contained in the pamphlet is simple and straightforward and should be read before commencing. Remember, however, that this was produced for the US market, and consequently some spellings differ. Pooh’s Print and Learn facility enables players to print stickers, ID cards, bookmarks, flashcards and workbooks connected with the skills learned in the games. Help Kanga cook with the alphabet, join the Party Spot with Pooh and Friends, Dream with Pooh, paint with Piglet, tin vegetables with Rabbit, make music with Tigger, help Owl with his family tree and at the same time monitor your child’s progress in a chart that is updated as your child plays the games and indicates the time taken and the difficulty level. Skills covered in the various games include letter recognition, letter order and phonics, deduction, reasoning, sequencing, thinking skills, categorisation attributes–same/different, number recognition 1-20, counting 1-20, auditory discrimination, music appreciation and creativity, colours, colour theory and listening skills. All activities have been well thought out and will provide hours of fun. —Susan Naylor

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