enter the Monster Clubhouse as the "newest monster" in
this Sesame Street software. Although the most popular
monsters from the show are not represented, some funny ones are.
choose from 5 activities, each with 2 variations. For example, if
they click on the elephant toy on the shelf (pictured at right),
they can either play a rhyming or matching game. Or, if they click
on the guitar, they can play either Music Matching or Monster
Music. The result is 10 different activities.
Our favorite game is called
Matching Moves. This one is unique and educational. Children watch
as the orange monster, Narf, dances onstage. Their challenge is to
make Mel dance the same way by clicking on his head, arms, and
legs until all the moves match. The dances have funny names, like
Swan Cake, and the subtle differences in the sways and dance moves
makes this activity a good exercise in visual discrimination.
Other notable games involve finding pictures that rhyme with a
given word, finding given shapes in the kitchen, and designing
monster faces after spinning a "feelings" wheel.
This program is interesting and
rather fun. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. We
were frustrated while exiting the activities. The program demands
two clicks in order to leave an activity, and younger testers
ended up clicking on the activity screen instead of the exit icon
the second time around. This was confusing. Also, some sequences
cannot be bypassed. The humor of the monsters is fun, but younger
kids might not "get it" when the monsters tell them
"don't come back" as they exit the game. Sometimes the
instructions are difficult to decipher simply because of the
monsters' style of speech. The box says the game is appropriate
for children ages 2-5, but we suggest ages 4-5.
See More Screenshots -
Monster Clubhouse Picture Gallery
- Colorful graphics.
- Adequate quantity and
variety of activities.
- Some fresh and original
games are included.
- Younger children in the
suggested age group may not always understand the
monsters' humor and language.
- Some design issues make
the program slightly clunky.
||By: Encore Software