Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise Game Poster Image
Game makes kids part of cartoon world.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the logic games in this game are too challenging for 3- to 4-year-olds, so parents will need to lend assistance.

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What's it about?

Putt-Putt is a talking car who has been a children's software star for the last decade. PUTT-PUTT: PEP'S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE casts him in the role of the surprise birthday party planner for his pet dog Pep. To put on a surprise party for Pep, Putt-Putt needs to collect five items -- but that is no easy task in the world of Cartown.

As kids direct Putt-Putt's movements, he helps solve problems for other citizens of Cartown -- many of whom are talking vehicles. For example, to obtain a birthday banner, Putt-Putt needs to help Ms. Widget, a bumper car whose store key has been stolen by a crow. To coax the crow to release the key, Putt-Putt zooms around more than 20 locations until he finds something shiny.

Is it any good?

Some of the logic games are too challenging for 3- to 4-year-olds, so parents will need to help. At times, characters can be a little chatty, but pushing the spacebar allows you to bypass previously heard conversations.

Kids enjoy playing this because they feel like they are inside a cartoon. They move the story forward only by using important problem-solving and memory skills. Putt-Putt is so polite and thoughtful that he makes a great role model for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about helping others. Putt-Putt accomplishes his goals by helping others in his community. How does helping others benefit you?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $20
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Atari
  • Release date: January 23, 2004
  • Genre: Preschool
  • ESRB rating: EC

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