VTech InnoTab Software - Monsters University

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
VTech InnoTab Software - Monsters University Game Poster Image
Fun movie-based game with overly wide skill ranges.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn math and reading skill appropriate for preschool through 1st grade. These math and reading games are fun and engaging, but the learning is poorly integrated into the tasks and the skill ability rises too quickly. The Monsters University characters engage kids in activities that teach math and reading, but the learning may get too hard too quickly.

Positive Messages

The story is all about team work and believing in yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters support each other and try hard, but one of them cheats on a test and the repercussions aren't as clear here as they are in the movie version of the story.

Ease of Play

The controls and instructions are fairly clear, but the system doesn't always respond correctly/quickly. It makes a few of the tasks more challenging than they should be.

Violence & Scariness

The monsters are never particularly scary, but Mike and Sulley do contend with stinging urchins and other monsters throwing objects at them.

Language
Consumerism

This is based on a popular movie franchise with a wide range of other products available.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Monsters University is a collection of activities including an eBook, a game, and a creative photo tool. The range in skills needed to complete the adventure mode of the game may challenge some kids. It includes simple tasks like finding the grayed out letter of a word (which is still visible) on the screen, and ranges up to addition with at least one double-digit number and counting by threes. Because the controls don't always respond properly, kids may also get the idea that they have chosen a wrong answer, rather than they have just tapped the screen too quickly or slightly off a hotspot. 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?

Learn about how Mike and Sulley became friends back in college in VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - MONSTERS UNIVERSITY. Kids can read along with the eBook, which highlights the words and includes an illustrated glossary of terms. Then they can play along as Mike and Sulley train for and participate in the Scare Games. There are 9 different mini-games in adventure mode, and they can be unlocked for free play. The games involve puzzles, memory, observation, math, reading, and comparison. They get increasingly more difficult as you play through the adventure, but kids can choose between easy and difficult settings in free play. Kids can also take their own Monsters University photos with special frames and virtual props.

Is it any good?

VTech InnoTab Software - Monsters University has a great range of activities. Whether kids feel like reading, being creative, playing a "video game," or practicing their math skills, there are enough options to keep things fun. The controls can be a bit finicky, making for a frustrating experience if you're trying to pass a level. Kids need to complete a level to move on in adventure mode and the range of skills required may make that impossible for some. While there will be plenty for younger kids to enjoy, it is likely that it will appeal more to kids at the high end of the recommended 4-7-year-old spectrum.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can set up a hunt for kids to find their own flag collection.

  • They can play a board game where kids can only take a turn if they answer an addition or subtraction problem correctly.

  • They can practice counting by twos and threes.

Game details

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