VTech InnoTab Software - Doc McStuffins

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
VTech InnoTab Software - Doc McStuffins Game Poster Image
Play along as Doc entertains and heals her toy friends.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn about health and life skills. The games also cover addition, subtraction, memory, observation, and matching (colors, letters, shapes, patterns). The health and 21st-century skills are nicely embedded. By playing VTech InnoTab Software - Doc McStuffins, kids can learn about health as well as early -learning skills in a fun, make-believe world.

Positive Messages

The characters focus on having fun together, being healthy, and helping each other out. There is a focus on healthy choices for kids, such as getting enough sleep, talking about feelings, and being brave at the doctor's office.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Doc McStuffins is a sweet, generous character who helps heal toys. She's a good sport in games and kind to everyone around her.

Ease of Play

Directions are clear and easy to follow. There are some games that require a timed "flicking" movement, which may be difficult for young kids. The color-book section has pictures that are impossibly small to color with a stylus; it would benefit from an option to force the tools to color within the lines. 

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This is based on a popular TV franchise with a wide range of available consumer products.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Doc McStuffins is an upbeat title with positive messages and a lot of games. It's based on a popular television show character. The game blends in a lot of important preschool skills rather than focusing only on math, reading, or science. It mirrors the values of the television show. Editor's Note: This game's publisher, VTech, experienced a breach of parent and student data on November 14, 2015. Click here for more information.

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What's it about?

VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - DOC MCSTUFFINS is a collection of games and activities centering on the character of Doc, a preschool girl with a vivid imagination. Doc's toys come to life, joining her in games such as hide-and-seek and memory. They also come to her with injuries that need to be diagnosed and healed. This title includes an ebook, a photo activity, a virtual coloring book, and seven mini-games.

The ebook tells the story of what happened when Doc McStuffin's stuffed animal Lambie got a tear that was too much for even Doc to handle. Kids then enter into Doc's world, where they choose one of six locations, including the backyard, the playroom, and Doc's bedroom. Once there, kids are randomly given a mini-game to play. There are three card games: memory, find the different card, and follow that card (such as the three-cups-and-a-ball game). There's an activity that involves popping bubbles that match the missing letters in a word and one that requires flicking marbles to solve math problems. Scoring well in a mini-game unlocks it for free-play mode and rewards kids with stickers and other items or the coloring-book activity. Creative kids may enjoy the coloring book or head into the photo lab, where they can take pictures with Doc McStuffins characters and props.

Is it any good?

VTech InnoTab Software - Doc McStuffins presents a fairly cohesive set of mini-games while having a nice mix to appeal to different kids. Diagnosing and healing toys is both fun and empowering.

However, there are some things about the set-up of the title that could be frustrating. Because activities are randomly assigned to locations, they can be hard to find and thus unlock. Also, coloring-book pages and their tools and accessories need to be unlocked by completing games with a strong score. A few of the games struggle with control issues; the marble-sorting game, for example, requires not only solving the math problem but flicking the marble in the correct direction at the right time. It's also hard to use a stethoscope on some of the toys. There is a lot of potential here, but a few flaws just seem like sloppy design.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask about the health tip cards. Practice some as a family.

  • Hold your own toy hospital with your child. Bring the glue and needle and thread!

  • Is this game different from the TV show upon which it's based?

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