A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that preschoolers are going to need help learning how to play this game. While the game features some great classical compositions, the music presented on the Game Boy Advance (GBA) is tinny at best. The video gaming controls are easy, but gameplay does not vary much from mission to mission.
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What's it about?
Fans of Disney's Little Einsteins television show can now go on seven interactive missions with its stars by playing the DISNEY'S LITTLE EINSTEINS video game. As on the show, kids join the precocious Little Einsteins on missions that incorporate famous artwork and classical music. The main menu offers seven masterpieces, including works by Rousseau, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh; each painting leads to a mission, which contains three games.
One mission is to find a new song. The friends jump into their animated friend, Rocket, and fly over tall mountains to collect the notes of the song. The game of collecting notes is a side-scrolling game where kids must hit the "A" button to engage the rocket ship's booster in time to soar over the mountains.
Is it any good?
This game doesn't live up to the high standards of the show, in part due to the limitations of the Game Boy Advance platform. The audience is preschoolers, yet the game is played on a system that relies on written, not spoken, word. The game features classical music, but the GBA has a tinny sound. And while the game mechanics are simple, buttons are small and hard for little hands to use.
The target audience for this game, kids ages 4 to 6, will need help from an adult to read and learn to play. And while exposing young children to art and music within the context of a video game is a great idea, these enriching activities don't vary much. For families who already own a GBA, this game may be worth exploring; otherwise, parents might want to instead explore the Little Einsteins interactive games offered online for free at www.PlayhouseDisney.com.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about classical music and the lives of famous composers. They can also go on the Internet to find the famous paintings used in the game. Because the GBA screen is so small, kids will benefit from seeing larger renditions of the paintings. Families might also want to discuss the relationships among the four Little Einsteins, and what it means to be friends.