Posts Tagged ‘JumpStart game on the Wii’

Review: Jumpstart Escape from Adventure Island Wii Game

PhotobucketNot that long ago our family had a chance to review JumpStart’s 3D World, an online learning environment, as well as JumpStart Pet Rescue Wii game.

We’re big fans of JumpStart so the kids were tickled pink when given the chance to review Knowledge Adventure‘s newest Wii game: Escape from Adventure Island.

PhotobucketGame Synopsis

During an emergency landing on Adventure Island the blimp you and Frankie were traveling in gets damaged. Now you’re on a mission to collect sand dollars, which you’ll trade in for helium tanks to fix your blimp. Complete challenges to earn either white or gold sand dollars.

Story and Practice Modes

The game is played in Story Mode, where you help Frankie complete various challenges, like letter recognition, math problems or just following instructions, and earn a sand dollar. There are various levels to each challenge making it easily adaptable to your child’s skill level now and as they improve. You can practice some of the skills you will need to complete the challenges with educational games in Practice Mode.

On Land or in Water

JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island has two main areas: the Island Hub, where kids play and learn above the water or the Scuba Hub where your jumpee is dressed in scuba gear and you can explore and play under water. Both of my kids loved the Scuba Hub in this game; this environment wasn’t something offered in the JumpStart Pet Rescue game. My son spent most of his time underwater. My son wanted to get right into the game; he didn’t even adjust or customize the default jumpee character.

My daughter missed the fact that there weren’t worlds to explore (in JumpStart Pet Rescue there were more locations to jump to). She also missed the pet adoption aspect. But I think it’s great that the two games are different; you would play them for a different experience.

Improved Use of the Wii-mote

I remember one of my disappointments with the JumpStart’s Pet Rescue game was the lack of intuitive use with the Wii-mote. Well that isn’t an issue with JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island. Watching the kids play, they turn and twist and point the Wii-mote; they seem more involved in the game.

But What do the Kids Think

Rated E for Everyone

The JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island game for the Wii has been rated Everyone (E) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which means ‘it has content suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.‘ The game play seemed pretty similar to the JumpStart Pet Rescue which received an Early Childhood (EC) rating.

In Stores

JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island for the Wii (recommended for ages 5 to 9) will be available in major retailers starting November 17, 2009 for $29.99US

Time to Escape and WIN

Knowledge Adventure, the creatures of the JumpStart games is running an amazing contest. Visit their blog and tell them how your family uses imagination to escape the everyday and turn life into and adventure. Your story could win one (1) of fifty (50) copies of JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island or maybe even one (1) of the three (3) Grand Prize Family Escape Packs (valued at over $1000). Contest closes November 16 so be quick.

* a review copy of JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island was provided by Knowledge Adventure

Review: JumpStart Pet Rescue on the Wii

LogoWe were all very excited when the JumpStart Pet Rescuegame for the Wii arrived at our door not too long ago. See our family is big on using technology to enhance learning (and we’re big gaming fans too). Knowledge Adventure produces some of the best educational software we’ve come across. We’ve used their JumpStart learning software in the past and more recently we’ve been exploring the JumpStart 3D Virtual World, Knowledge Adventure’snew secure online environment for kids. I wrote a review on our experience with theJumpStart 3D Virtual World if you want to learn more.

Educational fun on the Wii

But now Knowledge Adventure has taken the next step. They’ve combined their understanding and knowledge of children’s educational software with the fun interactivity of the Wii gaming system.

JumpStart version of the Mii

The Wii game, JumpStart Pet Rescue, is modeled after Adventure Land in the JumpStart 3D Virtual World. Kids can customize their own jumpee, JumpStart’s version of a Mii, which represents the child throughout the game. And this character can be designed and changed and redesigned countless times, depending on the mood of your child. My oldest daughter (7) enjoyed this aspect of the game almost as much as the game itself. And there are three player slots so you can create three separate jumpees and games or in my case, each of my three kids has their own. This enables each child to progress through the game at their own pace, picking up where they left off the last time (though only one person can play at a time).

There are two ways you can experience the game:

Story Mode

My five year old son loves playing in Story Mode which works great for him since he’s very task oriented. Story Mode is set-up like a mission, which completely peaked my son’s interest. All the pet’s in JumpStart land have run away and my son needed to help find them. My son was told if he found all the sections of a story and then read it, one of the missing pets would return. And to find the missing story sections, he needed to complete some tasks. And so my son’s mission began.

JumpStart knows how to make learning not seem like learning. The tasks are a combination of fun experiences and learning games. In some cases my son just needed to follow a trail of letters from point A to B and other times he was asked to complete a game like matching or placing items in the correct order. Throughout the JumpStart world there are friendly creatures to greet, provide help and encouragement. When my son collected all the pages in one of his stories he was able to read it (or in his case, have it read to him) in the library. And to his great surprise and excitement one of the friends returned.

Explore Mode

My seven year old daughter enjoyed explore mode. She still needed to find the missing animals, but unlike Story Mode, she was given free reign to explore all the environments in the JumpStartworld (in Story Mode, each world becomes available as a level is completed). My daughter enjoyed discovering hidden slides and games. But her favourite part was adopting a pet for her Jumpee. She would spend time playing with her new pet, teaching it tricks, feeding it and washing it. Even when my son was playing in Story Mode, he could still wander around and explore on his own (his favourite being the slides, which he would get his Jumpee to ride on over and over again).

As a task is completed, whether in story mode or explore mode, kids are awarded with praise as well as virtual prizes. Items like music can be played in the jukebox and letter objects can be used to decorate the JumpStart world.

Playing with the Wii-mote

My kids are pretty familiar with playing games on the Wii(I did say we are a gaming family didn’t I) therefore it didn’t take them long to get the feel of how to use the Wii-mote. The cursor on screen is nice and big, making it easier to see and move for young kids. There were some odd navigation placements where the large cursor caused a few problems (like when selecting a shampoo from the Pet Parlor, the arrows at the bottom of the shampoo menu were pretty close to the ‘Exit’ button. A few times the kids ended up exiting the screen when they were trying to select the next shampoo page). The game didn’t use the Wii-mote interactivity I like from other games. I sort of expected to be able to shake the remote around to put shampoo on the pet, but instead had to hit the ‘A’ button each time to get shampoo out. This didn’t take away from the game, but I don’t think it used the Wii to it’s full potential.

If your child hasn’t played with a Wiibefore, it does take some getting use to, especially how to point the Wii-mote at the sensor bar so it registers on the screen. My two older kids (5 & 7) were pros, but my youngest (2) had a lot of difficulty. I think this skill comes with practice.

A Wii game designed for the younger set

I mentioned earlier we’re big gaming fans, but most of the games we’ve encountered have been for older kids, either due to content or playability. The JumpStart Pet Rescue game for the Wii has been rated Early Childhood (EC) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which means ‘it contains no material parents would find inappropriate’. Want more information on the rating system? And all three of my kids love this game (even my two year old who plays with her big sister’s help). This is the first game my kids ask to play when given the chance. My son said ‘I love this game almost as much as my Star Wars Lego Wii. And for a learning game I think that says a lot.

What the kids have to say

Coming soon

The JumpStart Pet RescueWiigame will in stores in September, just in time for back to school learning. You’ll be able to pick it up at Walmart, Staples, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Fry’s and other retailers in US and Canada.

Availability:Walmart & Staples (September 1), Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Fry’s and other retailers (September 2)
Age: 3 to 6
Price: $39.99 US
Platform:Nintendo Wii

WIN WIN WIN WIN

Knowledge Adventure is running a contest and giving away twenty-five (25) copies of the JumpStart Pet Rescue Wii game (open to US residents only). All you need to do is jump over to their blog and leave a comment telling them how you convinced your child to do something that was good for them, even if they didn’t want to.

JumpStart on the Wii (coming soon)

logoNot long ago I wrote a review on the new JumpStart virtual learning world. We’ve been a big fan of the software in the past so the virtual world was a natural step.

But have you heard the latest? JumpStart is joining the Wii world with the launch of a new game Pet Rescue.  Imagine the educational fun of JumpStart meshed together with the interactivity of the Wii gaming system! Awesome. (You can see the release announcement on the JumpStart blog).

JumpStart into Wii

JumpStart into Wii

The Pet Rescue game will be similar to that of the Storyland world offered in JumpStart’s Online Virtual World, aimed at kids 4 to 6. Kids will get to customize their own player and pet, though not as much customization at the online environment would allow. Playing educational games and teaching their pet tricks using their WiiMote will be just some of the activities planned in the game, all which will earn the kids virtual rewards and allow them to progress through the story.

Knowledge Adventure, plans to release the Wii Pet Rescue game September 2009, just in time for the new school season. Make sure to keep tuned to my blog and the JumpStart blog for more details as the  game release date gets closer.