Reader Rabbit 1st Grade

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Reader Rabbit 1st Grade Game Poster Image
Nice mix of animation, song, and solid educational gaming.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In addition to the overall message that learning can be fun, the story also shows Reader and Sam being helpful and always staying positive in the face of adversity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Reader and Sam are about as positive as you can get in terms of lead video game characters. They're resourceful, helpful, and kind; they love learning and always believe in their ability to win in the end.

Ease of Play

The instructions for each mini-game are stated clearly and are generally easy to follow. The point-and-click controls work okay with the Wii remote, but may require more precision than some younger children are capable of. If, say, kindergartners (who can handle a lot of the educational content) want to play, it may help them out if you lower the sensitivity of the Wii remote. You can do this through the console's "Wii Options" menu.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Reader Rabbit 1st Grade presents kids with a fun (if somewhat surreal) interactive story, throughout which there are educational mini-games to conquer. Kids younger than first grade can still play, as there are multiple difficulty levels. Be aware, though, that younger kids may need additional help with the remote. If precision is a problem, try reducing the remote's sensitivity via your console's "Wii Options" menu.

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What's it about?

The somewhat bizarre plotline of READER RABBIT 1ST GRADE revolves around a turtle scientist who has created a weather machine that is accidentally causing it to rain raingear -- hats, boots, and umbrellas fall from the sky rather than raindrops. To help him fix his malfunctioning invention, Reader and his friend Sam seek out the items they'll need for the repair effort. Getting these items means solving mini-games that teach lessons with phonics, math equations, and money counting, to name a few.

Is it any good?

Reader Rabbit 1st Grade does a great job of keeping young kids interested and entertained -- thanks to the straight-out-of-a-cartoon animation, musical numbers, and genuinely fun gameplay -- while teaching them solid elementary-school curriculum at the same time.

Kindergartners (and even precocious preschoolers) can certainly give the game a go on the lower difficulty levels, which is nice, but if they have trouble with aiming the Wii remote precisely, you or an older sibling may need to help them out. Still, the combination of educational and entertainment value here is impressive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the educational lessons embedded within this adventure game. Are you able to separate the lessons from the gameplay and use what you've learned outside the game?

  • Families can also discuss how the game's characters react to adversity. Do you think a positive, confident attitude can help you overcome obstacles in the real world?

Game details

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