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Software Review:    Elmo's World: Shoes, Bugs, & Farms

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The hit Sesame Street segment, Elmo's World, has come to CD-ROM. But is the software game worth buying? 

The premise is as simple as the segment that stars preschoolers' favorite fuzzy red monster. Kids explore three themes--in this case, shoes, bugs, and farms. Kids click on any of these three subjects to explore the topic further. They can "imagine" with Dorothy the goldfish, watch an animated skit starring Mr. Noodle, play the piano with Elmo, watch a video from the show, or play a game. Other things to do are simple clickables. Each of the three topics have the same format. 

Dorothy imagines a number of things--she pictures Elmo as a cow, pig, and even corn-on-the-cob in the farm segment, for example. These musings are cute while they last, but kids cannot interact with them--they are mere animations. The games involve finding animals on Old MacDonald's farm, navigating an anthill maze, and finding a mystery shoe. We had troubles with the videos on each computer we installed the program on. Playing piano with Elmo is a cute activity in which Elmo sings the note that is played. Sometimes Elmo recognizes a tune as well.

On the positive side, this title features nice animations. However, it has a number of flaws that prevent it from being recommended. For one, there are lengthy sequences at times, and we could not find a way to interrupt them. This was most noticeable in the Old MacDonald farm game--Elmo sings far too much, and little ones become antsy. As well, there are too few activities to keep kids coming back for more. As a result, replay value suffers. As well, there are double prompts to exit activities--a minor quibble, but frustrating nonetheless.

You may want to check out the more content-rich Sesame Street Toddler for plenty of Elmo in addition to Big Bird and Cookie Monster. 

  • Cute graphics
  • Some activities are moderately satisfying


  • Limited number of activities
  • Lengthy, non-interruptible sequences frustrate young users.



For Win/Mac By: Encore Software     Ages 3-4 Published: 2001



Elmo fans might want to turn to:

Sesame Street Toddler


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 Reviewed November 2001                                                                                                 Comments? Email us.

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