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Software Review:    Monster Clubhouse

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Preschoolers 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

Kids 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

 
Pros:
  • Colorful graphics.
  • Adequate quantity and variety of activities.
  • Some fresh and original games are included. 

 

Cons:
  • Younger children in the suggested age group may not always understand the monsters' humor and language.
  • Some design issues make the program slightly clunky.

 

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For Win/Mac By: Encore Software  Ages 4-5 Published: 2002
 

 

Our Rating:

B

To Buy this CD-ROM:

Buy Monster Clubhouse  for $19.99 US at Amazon.com

 

Reviewed October 2002                                                                                                 Comments? Email us.
 
 

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