A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an adventure as well as a simple baseball simulation. It's created for young kids (starting at about age 6), and is too simple for kids over the age of about 10. But for the targeted age, it has a charming story, and does a great job of breaking down the parts of baseball into mini-games. Some of the comments from the Peanuts characters are negative, but they are typical of what the Peanuts characters would say in their comic strip.
What's it about?
PEANUTS: IT'S THE BIG GAME CHARLIE BROWN! combines a computer adventure with a simple baseball simulation to teach young kids about baseball. As manager of the neighborhood baseball team, Charlie Brown has high hopes for this season, until he shows up at the first practice to find no one is there. Good Grief! Kids join Charlie Brown as he goes around his neighborhood recruiting five of his friends to form a baseball team. But the friends won't join the team until Charlie Brown solves a series of logic puzzles involving the social relationships of the friends, plays some arcade-type games, and then wins five baseball mini-games. By the end of the adventure, kids will have solved the logic puzzles, had fun playing games with the Peanuts crowd, and learned how to play the simple baseball simulation. And you don't have to play through the adventure to be able to play six or nine innings of baseball with Charlie Brown's team.
In this point-and-click adventure, you direct Charlie Brown as he walks around his neighborhood. He needs to recruit five players, but each has a social condition that needs to be met before he or she will join the team. For example, Peppermint Patty won't join the team until Charlie Brown has recruited other good players. Schroeder won't play until Charlie Brown lures Lucy away from Schroeder's house. (As in the comic strip, Lucy is pining over Schroeder by staring at him while he practices his piano.) By meeting a friend's social requirement, you open up that friend's mini-game. The five mini-games can be played on three levels of difficulty and reflect the personality of the friend as developed in Charles Schultz's cartoon strip. Thus, the game with Schroeder is a music game.
Is it any good?
Peanuts: It's the Big Game Charlie Brown! is a good fit for young kids new to baseball. Full of Peanuts' humor and scenes from the comic strip, the adventure is charming, although it can get a little repetitive. Each of the characters recruited to the team comes to the baseball diamond with a mini-baseball game. In essence, these mini-baseball games serve as tutorials for how to play the actual game. You will learn to bat with Linus, pitch with Schroeder, field the ball with Lucy, run the bases with Pig-Pen, and manage the team with Peppermint Patty. When playing in the baseball simulation game, it never gets too challenging, which appropriately reflects the audience for which it was created. All in all, this is a clever way to introduce young children to the game of baseball.
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