Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Review: Mia Reading The Bugaboo Bugs

I received the Kutoka Interactive game for computers called Mia Reading: The Bugaboo Bugs for review. Can you believe that at one time I was going to keep computer games from my children? I am learning that if you choose wisely, you and your child will have a great experience with the computer and game.

In this game the child gets to control where Mia goes on her adventure. Kutoka's description is best:
Mia Mouse lives in a charming Victorian house where her family has lived for generations. The house has recently been invaded by pests. Stinking, noisy, uncivilized, they are sure to be seen by humans! And if this is the case, the exterminators will be called! But then, Mia, her friends and family would be out on the street! The Bugaboos must go! And Mia needs your help.
Beginning the game proved to be easy. In went the disc, the program loaded, and when my daughter arrived home from school, we began to play.

The graphics are spectacular, movie quality. My six-year-old made that observation. In an instant she was hooked. The play felt clunky in the beginning as my daughter figured out how to interact with the character and the items on the screen. Within a few minutes, her comfort level improved, and she was eager to complete the entire adventure in one sitting.

We played the game (I say we because I sat beside her, as did her younger sister) on the beginner level. I didn't record how long we played, but it did seem that my youngest napped a very long time that day. Not that the game felt too long, just that we were able to progress along in the adventure quickly. That's great for kids. Epic adventures aren't for my kiddos.

As a parent I appreciated that the learning games were integrated into the adventure. For example, to scavenge a piece of steel wool for a friend's machine, Mia and my daughter had to play a type of Tic, Tac, Toe. In another game we have, my daughter completes the activity section before tacking the learning games. One is not dependent on the other. With Mia Reading, she had to successfully complete the learning game.

All of the games were level appropriate. We decided to do only the activities (in my terms, the learning games) for the next level. This was a slight stretch on her abilities, but together we completed them. She then decided to play the entire adventure again. My daughter adored the game and the cute characters.

The retail price is $24.99, and with four levels, that's quite a bit of activities packed into a game with great graphics and good literacy games. I do wonder if young boys will want to control a girl mouse. She's the more stable character, while the boy mouse can let his emotions get the best of him. Whoever designed that, I give you a thumbs up.


Michelle said...

lol that sounds kinda cool. (The boy mouse being all emo is a nice touch.) We are game crazy around here. What age levels would you say this would be best for? Or maybe go by grade? A young 3rd grader? Thanks for the suggestion.

Sarabeth said...

It's stated ages are from 5-9. We haven't explored the upper levels, though.

Michelle said...

if developmentally my dd is 7-8...that sounds like a great fit. Thanks for the explanation. I need to go check that out.