JumpStart: Escape from Adventure Island

Common Sense Media says

Math, reading, and action in one colorful package.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
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11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Knowledge and brain power are used to complete tasks. This is an educational game where smarts are constantly rewarded.

Positive role models

There aren't many characters in the game, but there's absolutely nothing objectionable about the ones that are in there. And the player's character is a hard-working, determined, smart kid.

Ease of play

Each lesson-based mini game has three curriculum levels to choose from, and three game-playing skill levels to choose from on top of that. All those possible permutations make it easy for a child to tailor the game to match both their education and game-playing skill levels.

Violence & scariness

The game's only villains are little hairball creatures called Punk Punks. In some of the mini games, players can jump on and flatten the Punk Punks or roll into them with a giant ball. Defeated Punk Punks disappear in a quick puff of smoke.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this educational game makes its lessons not only fun, but enticing, by layering them into action-based, cartoon-inspired gameplay. Not all of the mini-games are purely curriculum-based -- some are more reminiscent of what you'd find in a mainstream, just-for-fun video game; but the inclusion of those un-school-like levels only serves to keep kids interested in the game as a whole. The educational games are geared at 5- to 9-year-olds.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

In JUMPSTART: ESCAPE FROM ADVENTURE ISLAND, your dirigible-type airship crash lands on a whimsical, fantasy island, and you must play mini-games to earn sand dollars and buy enough helium tanks to get your zeppelin back up in the air. A few of the mini-games are mere dexterity challenges (rolling an egg into a nest, hopping onto platforms, and avoiding meanie creatures), but most are outwardly educational, based on math and reading curricula for five- to nine-year-olds. Players may need to ride a manta ray through gates marked with the right answers to math problems or roll in a giant hamster ball through banners marked with correctly-spelled words. Another mini game involves choosing clothes for a fashion show, where scores are based on how well the chosen outfit matches the requested criteria (such as \"striped cold-weather outfit\").

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The educational value of JumpStart: Escape from Adventure Island is clear from the first few moments of the game. And the lessons are incorporated very nicely into action-based game formats. Beyond all the learning, though, the game is also fun. It has a colorful look and playful design that should be appealing to kids across the entire five-to-nine age spectrum. And smartly, there's a lot here that is not purely educational -- including the ability to build up a wardrobe and continually swap costumes, and a customizable treehouse -- which goes a long way toward making sure the game doesn't feel like a school assignment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about which of the mini-games kids like best. Do they prefer the game levels that are more traditionally video-game-like? Or do they enjoy the ones that present them with learning-based challenges?

  • Do kids like to change the look of their avatar often? How important to them is it to unlock all the possible costume options? Do they want to make the avatar look like them?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Knowledge Adventure
Release date:November 24, 2009
Genre:Educational
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Nintendo Wii)

This review of JumpStart: Escape from Adventure Island was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2, 5, and 8 year old Written byamylynr August 24, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Not even close to as good as the computer games

I'm not sure what the problem is--my kids love Jumpstart, but they won't play this. Even my 8 year old, who's a wii-whiz, gets frustrated trying to use the controller on this game. Also, not having a multiplayer function is a big turn-off. My kids only like to play together and get bored by one-player games. I keep hoping they'll give this one another chance, but so far, not impressed.
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byunderworld December 27, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Gameplay hinders any educational benefit

If a game is designed below the standards of other video games, it simply won't keep your kid interested in it to benefit from it. Our girls (5 and 8) received several video games for the holidays and this game got about 5 minutes of attention before the awkward gameplay drove them to other gifts. Video games need to engage kids quickly so they don't lose interest. This game starts with a poorly animated character speaking at length about the game. After you get past him, you wonder around the island in search of mini-games. There are obstacles which should be easily navigated with a small jump but simply stop the player from proceeding. The minigames I saw weren't that fun. One game had the player float around a cave trying to find words that rhyme with a given word. It isn't clearly stated what the goal of this game was but my girl racked up numerous matches with no reward. She just got bored with providing the same answer again and again. I bought this game based upon this site's high review but I have to wonder if your reviewers spent the necessary time to assess whether the game would captivate its audience with its gameplay. I hope other parents take the time to validate these reviews for the benefit of us other parents who rely on reviews to make worthwhile purchases.

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