VTech InnoTab Software - Ultimate Spider-Man

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
VTech InnoTab Software - Ultimate Spider-Man Game Poster Image
Superhero science-tech adventure really soars.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a variety of science and technology concepts including conductors for electricity, different types of foods, body parts of animals, working with a map, programming/logic, and balancing weights. They'll also work on letter and number recognition, matching, counting, and reading, all while having fun and saving the world. Players will enjoy fighting villains with Spider-Man and can unlock new mini-games to keep them engaged. Ultimate Spider-Man gets kids to play with the famous web-crawler while getting them to learn at the same time.

Positive Messages

Stresses importance of teamwork while game itself focuses on fighting crime.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Spider-Man works to save people from a virus as villains try to spread it. Game portion seems to have more villains than heroes, but emphasis still falls on Spider-Man, his positive work.

Ease of Play

Controls are intuitive, although one mini-game responded poorly to the device controls. Challenging content and the need for fine motor skills may frustrate some players.

Violence & Scariness

Spider-Man shoots at villains with his web; one villain tries to electrocute him.

Language
Consumerism

Based on a popular comic book franchise that also has media, toy, other consumer item tie-ins.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Ultimate Spider-Man is an educational game and ebook focused on science and technology. Though the educational content is geared toward preschoolers, the mini-games and adventure mode will have an appeal for older Spider-Man fans as well. Unlike some VTech cartridges, several mini-games will be challenging in terms of content and the need for fine motor skills for younger kids. Violence is cartoonish, with Spider-Man shooting webbing at villains, although one does try to electrocute him. Parents also should be aware that this is the latest product for a franchise with media, toy, and other merchandise tie-ins, so they could be asked to buy additional items. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is an educational game with three major parts: an ebook, an Adventure mode, and a photo activity. Kids can read the story of "Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six" and learn how Spider-Man got his fellow heroes to work as a team to defeat the villains. The story is read aloud, and the built-in glossary helps with unfamiliar words. The Adventure mode let's players join the fight to stop villains from releasing a virus that turns people into animalistic monsters across the city. Kids will swing around town, fight Octobots, use a simple map, navigate a robot with simple programming skills, and more. Kids also can take a picture of themselves with a superhero mask or in a Spider-Man-themed photo frame.

Is it any good?

VTech InnoTab Software - Ultimate Spider-Man is chock-full of fun and learning. Most of the educational activities are perfectly integrated into the adventure, and even some that aren't terribly realistic feel like they fit. In one, Spider-Man has to remove matching sets of numbers/letters to reveal a password and hack into Octobots. In another, he has to prevent infected food from entering the marketplace by pulling out foods that match certain criteria such as grains, fruit, protein, or dairy. Only one game feels like forced learning (webbing Octonots with certain numbers on their chests).

Otherwise, it all feels like you're helping save humanity. There are a few situations where the controls pose a challenge -- for example, when you're about to be attacked by Electro and need to move Spider-Man, the game refuses to react during the first round of each battle -- which can be frustrating. Otherwise, this is a fantastic example of how to engage kids in science and technology in a meaningful and immersive way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about leadership and teamwork. What does it mean to be a leader? What does it mean to be on a team? Can you name some things your family has in common with a team?

  • Discuss reading a map. What does the map of your town look like? Can you find your street on it?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love adventure

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