Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster Game Poster Image
Engaging and funny interactive adventures are pure joy.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about friendships and cooperating with others as they play games with friendly monsters. They can also learn lessons like matching colors and musical pitches. Based on Sesame Street's "Whole Child" curriculum, the game encourages kids to identify and respond to others’ emotions, to respect differences, and to share responsibility for the world around us. In addition to teaching vital social and emotional lessons, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster brilliantly incorporates two-person cooperative play.

Positive Messages

Every story in the game (and every mini-game within those stories) has a positive message. Believing in yourself, promoting individuality, cheering up a friend in need, keeping nature clean and safe -- these are just a small sampling of the many lessons kids will find within.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As Elmo and Cookie Monster explore storybook worlds, they cheerfully help out, engage with, and provide encouragement for the other monsters they meet. All the game's characters are gentle, fun-loving creatures who want to do their best to help the friends around them.

Ease of Play

Instructions are explained verbally before each mini-game -- no reading required. The required movements are generally quite simple and the Kinect sensor does a decent job of accurately reading them, even when two players of different heights are working together.

Violence & Scariness

In one mini-game, where a big monster named Marco runs with Elmo on his back, rocks and trees sometimes block the path. Marco will break through these obstacles, shattering them. He will slow down, but not be hurt.


This is a licensed Sesame Street game and coupons for other Sesame products come packaged with the disc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is designed as an interactive adventure, in which players directly engage with many Muppet characters from the show. It is a very physical game that will require kids to be on their feet and moving around quite a bit. And it is designed especially with two-player cooperative play in mind. Rather than focus on "book learning" (i.e., ABC's and 123's), the game's stories promote positive life lessons, such as friendship, responsibility, and generosity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written bydaleo November 24, 2011

Great for Kids of all ages

This game is fantastic for kids and families, my daughter (5.5) gets involved, and really enjoys the story its fun to play together. The production values are e... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKingRobert December 30, 2017

Colorful and Great

A perfect 360 game.
Kid, 5 years old June 2, 2013

What's it about?

In SESAME STREET: ONCE UPON A MONSTER, Elmo and Cookie Monster journey into their favorite storybook and interact with the monster characters they meet there (including some of their more familiar Sesame Street friends, like Grover and Oscar the Grouch). Each story features five or so mini-games that allow kids to truly take part. They may dress characters in costume, toss garbage in a trash can, flap their arms to fly to the top of a tree, or follow along with a dance (to name a few activities).

Is it any good?

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is definitely among the best preschool video games out there. Its polished presentation, wonderfully witty script, and easy-to-learn-but-not-too-easy-to-play mini-games make it a package that little kids will adore. Moreover, the entire experience is designed to work equally well for one or two players, making Once Upon a Monster the perfect game for parents to play with their kids (or for siblings to play together). Rarely do we see a game that is so utterly appropriate for preschool audiences that is also simultaneously appealing to older kids and adults as well. It's an absolute winner.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons learned from the game. Ask kids what the moral of each story is. When Cookie and Elmo help throw a party for a lonely monster, what did they learn? When they assist another monster in restoring her ruined garden, what knowledge did they gain from that? And so on.

  • This is a very physical game. Do you like games that make you move? In what ways do you prefer them over games that you just sit and play?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool games

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