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~~June 2003~~

Here are some of the latest releases in children's software and video games. 

Personalized Tests for Elementary Students are Delivered Through Games

coverAll-new titles in the JumpStart series are designed to provide targeted practice in spelling and math through fun games. JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling Bee allows children to enter their school spelling tests into the game. The program covers grades 1 through 5 and offers 1,700 spelling words already programmed into the game.  JumpStart Study Helpers Math Booster also allows children to personalize their game by entering in math problems they are currently studying at school, and provides hundreds of pre-programmed math problems for children in grades 1 to 5. Both titles "recycle" problems and words that children are struggling with and feature automatic leveling. Release date for both titles is June 3.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling Bee and JumpStart Study Helpers Math Booster at]


~~May 2003~~

Adventure in the Land "Down Under"

coverEven before the theatrical release of the much-anticipated Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo come two movie tie-in CD-ROMs for children.  Finding Nemo: Nemo's Underwater World of Fun includes a number of puzzles and mini-games, and is peppered with clips from the movie as well. 

The other CD-ROM, simply titled Finding Nemo, features multiple levels of arcade challenges and mini-games. See our full review here.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Finding Nemo: Nemo's Underwater World of... or Finding Nemo at]


The Wiggles come to the Computer!

coverDisney Interactive is bringing the runaway preschooler hit, The Wiggles, to the computer. Playhouse Disney The Wiggles: Wiggle Bay is set to be released on May 19th. 

Children play games (such as tic-tac-toe), navigate mazes, and more, with the beloved Wiggles gang, including the fabulous foursome and their costumed friends, in Wiggle Bay. This is a colorful game, designed for children ages 3 and up. Look for a full review soon. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Playhouse Disney The Wiggles, Wiggle Bay at]


Calling all horse lovers!

coverInfogrames has released a CD-ROM based on The Saddle Club series, The Saddle Club: Willowbrook Stables

The goal is to save the stables by solving a mystery. Players need to find clues by exploring different locations and "talking to" different characters in the game. They get to groom, ride, and race their horse. Children play as their favorite Saddle Club member. Look for a full review soon. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Saddle Club: Willowbrook Stables at]



~~April 2003~~

Here are some of the latest releases in children's software and video games. 

The Sims in 3D

coverGone is the angled 2D view--now Sims fans can get right in on the action in 3D. The Sims for Nintendo's GameCube features some of the traditional open-ended gameplay ("Play The Sims" game mode) plus an exciting new goal-oriented mode called "Get a Life". In this latter mode, players need to take one Sim through major life events in different levels and with specific goals in mind. 

There is a two-player mode that also breathes new life into the traditional Sims game. Of course, the open-ended nature of the game boosts replay value, and the game is rated Teen for some mature themes.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: The Sims for the Game Cube at]


A Little Character Makes it Big on Nintendo's Game Cube & PlayStation 2

This game is truly for the younger crowd. Absolutely stunning graphics are featured in Piglet's BIG Game (based on the new Disney movie, Piglet's BIG Movie) for the GameCube. There are seven worlds to explore--and they are dream worlds. Piglet needs a boost in confidence, and he can help out his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods as they sleep. Kids need to collect cookies (a somewhat repetitive task) and solve assorted fun puzzles. They are treated to beautiful scenes. Excellent for younger players, although those Woozles can be a little daunting. Parents might need to remind some kids that they are in dreamland. And, they might want to stick around to help them out from time to time.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Piglet's Big Game at]


A Little Character Makes it Big on CD-ROM

Piglet is shy and really quite fearful, but he proves that his very big heart makes him a real hero. In this CD-ROM, Piglet's Big Game, Piglet proves a very big help by pitching in for the Very Large Soup Party. Kids explore the Hundred Acre Wood, collecting all the soup ingredients for Rabbit, and playing all sorts of puzzles and games along the way. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, and Owl are here as well. Children participate in a creativity activity, solve brain-teasing puzzles, and navigate through mazes in this graphically rich program. See our full review

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Piglet's Big Game at]


Saving LOVE!

coverThe only problem with this game is that there is a bit of an age mismatch in terms of the appeal of the show and the challenge of this game. Hamtaro Ham-Ham Heartbreak is best for older fans of the Hamtaro show! Bijou and Hamtaro need to restore love to Ham-Ham pairs, like Oxnard and Pepper, collect and learn Ham-Chats (for example, "bluhoo"=sad), "rubrub" collected gems, compose and perform "Ham-jams" (song and dance), play dress-up, and unlock and explore different worlds in the game. Challenging but rich in game-play! Best for older children who enjoy a challenge, can read, and are old enough to strategize. May be better for girls because of the theme, but our boy testers enjoyed the rich gameplay involved. See our article about Hamtaro (the television show, games, books, and toys).

[For more information, or to buy: Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak at]



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February/March 2003

December 2002/January 2003

November 2002

October 2002

August/September 2002

June/July 2002

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