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~~January/February 2005~~


My Little Pony

My Little Pony PC Play Pack
My Little Pony was released on software some years ago, but the CD-ROM was discontinued. That was unfortunate because it was a unique program that kids really enjoyed. An all-new My Little Pony computer game has been released this month. My Little Pony PC Play Pack is best for young preschoolers. Players help the ponies get ready for the Friendship Ball. Read our full review of the game here.
[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: My Little Pony Play Pack at Amazon.com]
 

~~December 2004~~


More fantastic chess tutorials for kids


Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle
This sequel to the popular and excellent Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster is not simply a continuation of the first title, although it helps to have played the first title before embarking on this one. It's appropriate for beginning chess players (not complete beginners) and more advanced players alike. This educational software game is fun, featuring 21 arcade-style mini games that reinforce chess concepts introduced in the story line. Kids need to rescue Chesster from King Black's Castle. Players learn chess concepts--from basic to advanced--through the game's intelligible and engaging format. Such chess concepts as pinning, delivering check, protecting, openings, and more, are introduced and reinforced through tutorials that feel more like games. Kids also learn chess notation, and a bonus one-year free subscription to www.playchess.com is included. See our full review
[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle at Amazon.com]
 
5 Colorful Atoms of Energy


The Boohbah Zone
The Boohbahs have come to the computer with The Boohbah Zone by Brighter Child Interactive. Problem-solving, patterns, and more are featured in the program's colorful activities, based on the PBS Kids' new television series from the creators of the Teletubbies. 

With this CD-ROM, preschool-age kids color gifts and design gift wrap, direct the Boohbah in dances and exercise routines, play memory games, and more. One of the fantastic features of this title is that kids can choose any of 3 languages (French, English, or Spanish) to play the game. All are included on one CD-ROM. See our full review of Boohbah: The Boohbah Zone.
[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Boohbah Zone at Amazon.com]
 

 

~~November 2004~~


Play portable games with touch, voice, and wireless connectivity


Nintendo DS
One of the hottest holiday items this year will be the Nintendo DS, a new portable gaming system that is the latest model in the GameBoy line. This exciting new unit features dual screens and is happily backward-compatible with GameBoy Advance games. There are two cartridge slots on the unit: one slot for the GameBoy Advance cartridges, and another for the smaller DS game cartridges. The new wireless connectivity feature is impressive. We have seen the wireless feature in games like Pokemon Leaf Green and Fire Red, and the DS has a built-in feature that supports this exciting technology. Effectively, with the technology built into the Nintendo DS, players are able to play games through touch (touch screen) and voice (microphone), monitor two-screen action, and compete wirelessly with others. Of course, DS games will take advantage of the unit's technology. Kid-friendly DS titles that have already been announced include such titles as Animal Crossing, Pokemon Dash, Frogger, and Super Mario 64. Super Mario 64 (for the DS) and The Urbz: Sims in the City (for the DS) are releasing the same day as the unit.
Launch date was November 21st, and the Nintendo DS holds a suggested retail price of $149.99 US. See our full review of the Nintendo DS.
[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Nintendo DS at Amazon.com]
 
The Ultimate Zookeeper Experience
We love Microsoft's Zoo Tycoon series, and this latest edition features improvements that enhance gameplay, not to mention offer an exciting visual experience for players. With Zoo Tycoon 2, players can build, manage, and maintain their very own zoo in 3D, complete with realistic animals that act like their real-world counterparts, exhibits, and more.
Success comes to players when they research specific animals, manage their funds effectively, hire and monitor staff, and build thriving as well as eye-pleasing exhibits. These factors add tremendous educational value to the fun.

New to this edition is a Zoo Guest mode which allows players to step into the zoo they've created and experience it first-hand as a guest. New ways to build make it easier for players to create exciting exhibits, random and dynamic challenges enrich gameplay, and free downloadable content adds variety. There is now an option that is excellent for younger players--kids can choose to play "freeform", which offers unlimited funds and immediately-available animals, scenery, and buildings. See our full review.
[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2 (CD-ROM)]
 

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