What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game teaches colors, letters, logic, numbers, and shapes.
What's it about?
BOB THE BUILDER: BOB'S BUSY DAY is a Smartridge for the VSmile Pocket, an educational handheld gaming system for young kids that doubles as a TV gaming system when it's plugged into a television. Kids join Bob the Builder and his talking truck friends to play eight educational games that teach shapes, colors, letters, numbers, and logic. The Smartridge offers two modes of play: Learning Adventure and Learning Zone.
In the Learning Adventure, kids explore activities by controlling Bob. They may hunt for his missing tools or search for alphabetically lettered materials scattered around town. In the Learning Zone, kids play games with Bob's animated truck friends. Kids move trucks into position to \"kick\" soccer balls into goals marked with letters, and race trucks while counting objects, matching shapes, and finding paths through grids of colored dots.
Is it any good?
Bob's Busy Day does a good job of introducing early learning concepts to young kids in a video gaming context that is easy for them to master. However, the four games in the Learning Adventure are very similar side-scrolling games in which Bob walks around to find or catch objects. And unfortunately, the picture blurs when Bob is moving, so kids need to stop periodically to make sure they can see an object they are trying to collect.
This is best for kids ages 4 to 6 -- not 3-year-olds, as recommended on the packaging -- who love Bob the Builder and are new to playing video games, and so won't be bothered by the sameness of the gameplay.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Bob the Builder helps the town and his friends. If kids are playing this game on a VSmile Pocket, parents can plug it into the TV so that they can see what is happening in the game and then make supportive comments.