A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece is an adventure game that introduces kids to the basics of making music. It stars preschool favorites Elmo and Abby Cadabby, and also includes the Count and the ever-entertaining Honkers. The games are perfect for preschoolers and the characters do a nice job of integrating musical facts in their casual conversation. Many of the games on the Wii involve making certain motions -- jump, tilt, rotate, etc. -- that the game doesn't always recognize. Parents can "take over" the game using a second remote if a child gets stuck. Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece has a parent area that can be accessed using a second remote. It includes gameplay statistics and the ability to create custom playlists of favorite games.
What's it about?
In ELMO'S MUSICAL MONSTERPIECE, Elmo and Abby Cadabby set out on a journey to learn more about musical instruments, rhythm, pitch, and tempo. Along the way, they'll play a variety of games on their own, with the Count, and with a group of Honkers. One of the games is \"Grab That Instrument\" where Abby asks the player to help her collect a specific type of instrument as they fly by. Another, \"Ring Ring Quack\" has kids creating patterns of sounds by collecting certain items in a pre-determined order. In \"Shake Your Maracas,\" kids help Elmo make music by shaking the Wii remote. When the music stops, the kids have to stop shaking. Kids can play through the entire story line of Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece, choose the game they want to play, or use a custom playlist of games that their parents have created.
Is it any good?
Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece does a good job of presenting directions, and the games seem to flow together. When kids make a mistake (or the controls don't register properly), the prompting is subtle, but effective. The characters gently remind kids of the objective. The games are cute and have a certain repetition that allows kids to progress in skill without feeling like they're playing the same game over and over.
Perhaps the only thing lacking in the gameplay is some freeplay activity without a specific outcome attached. Some of the games would lend themselves to open exploration and many kids will crave some of that time for experimentation. The parental area is fine, and it's nice to have the curriculum goals for each area, but the statistics don't have a lot of substance. Despite these minor shortcomings, Sesame Street: Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece is a wonderful educational title for introducing kids to music, and a fun game in entertainment value alone.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about rhythm. What exactly is a rhythm? Do you like playing rhythm games?
Families can also talk about musical notes. If you have an instrument at home, show how songs are made up of musical notes and how the same notes can make a completely different song.
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii
- Subjects: Math: counting, shapes
Arts: music, rhythm
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation
Creativity: making new creations
Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles, thinking critically
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: June 15, 2012
- Genre: Preschool
- Topics: Princesses and Fairies, Arts and Dance, Music and Sing-Along, Numbers and Letters
- ESRB rating: EC
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.