JumpStart: Escape from Adventure Island

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
JumpStart: Escape from Adventure Island Game Poster Image
Math, reading, and action in one colorful package.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.


What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 5, and 8-year-old Written byamylynr August 24, 2010

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... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 8-year-old Written byunderworld December 27, 2009

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) rec... Continue reading

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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