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Children's Software Review:    Didi & Ditto Kindergarten

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Computer Game Review: Didi and Ditto Kindergarten


For Windows 98/Me/XP; Mac

By Kutoka Interactive

Released: 2004

Reviewed: July 2004

Our Recommended Age: 4-6

Our Rating: A-

 

 

 

 

Buy: KUTOKA Didi & Ditto Kindergarten ( Windows/Macintosh )

 

 

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Vibrant screens and an entirely fresh style makes Didi & Ditto Kindergarten stand out from the "pack" of software designed for Kindergarteners. This program doesn't underestimate a young child's brainpower, and is best for older children in the age group, or advanced Kindergarten-age children.

 

The program's originality—with regards to both characters and gameplay—piqued the interest of even older kid testers. Children begin by choosing one of four vegetables and fruits (kids will soon see why!) in order to track their game. They then choose to play with either of two beaver characters —the girl, Didi, (shown above) or Ditto, Did's blue brother, after which they choose one of three levels.

 

A long, intriguing video ensues after the gameplay settings have been selected. This program was created by the makers of the excellent Mia series of software. Although Didi & Ditto looks quite a bit different than the Mia titles, anyone who has played a Mia game will recognize the long graphic-rich introduction presented here. If children have selected Didi, they will eventually find out they need to collect fruits and vegetables so that the purple wolf (who is a vegetarian!) will let her brother, Ditto, out of the log. 

 

Fruits and vegetables can be collected as children play a variety of games, found in such areas as a swamp and farm. These yummies are stored in Didi's backpack in a logical way—kids sort the food into vegetables and fruits.

 

This very colorful and vibrant world contains plenty of fun clickables. Children click on a clock and day turns to night. When daylight returns, Didi remarks that she really doesn't like being out in the dark anyhow. Most clickables are pure fun, and others squeeze in some educational concepts. 

 

The activities focus on early math, phonics, rhyming words, letter recognition, patterns and shapes, problem solving, and more. One involves filling orders for chickens. Children make sure the basket's pattern matches the pattern on the egg. Kids need to pay attention to a few factors at once on higher levels—how many eggs of each pattern, the timing of the eggs dropping into the moving baskets, and of course the pattern/color to match. This is a little challenging for little ones, but there is no time pressure enforced, so children can take their time. A frog activity involves finding rhyming words, and a scarecrow game exercises beginning letter sounds. After completing an activity, players earn food like a big juicy apple or a large potato. 

 

As we've already mentioned, this game is especially appealing for its originality—from the opening sequence in which the colorful beavers play tennis with their tails and a turnip, to the activities that feature funny animals and unique challenges (for the most part). Navigation is fairly intuitive, but we found testers were confused now and again—not by the activities themselves, but with regards to "what to do next". Part of the reason for this is that the program was a little slow to react to children's input. However, the program captures children's interest and it grows with children with its multilevel challenges. 

Pros:


  • Graphics-rich environments and charming characters draw children in.
  • Educationally sound, unique challenges.
  • Multi-level activities help extend the life of the program. 
 

 

Cons:


  • A little slow in reacting to children's input; confusing at times.

 

        

 

Our Rating:


 

A-

 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: KUTOKA Didi & Ditto Kindergarten ( Windows/Macintosh )]

 

 

 

Reviewed July 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also:

Our Buyer's Guide to Children's Kindergarten Software

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Buy this CD-ROM:

Buy KUTOKA Didi & Ditto Kindergarten ( Windows/Macintosh ) at Amazon.com

 

 

See Also:

cover

The Happiest Toddler on the Block : The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- to Four-Year-Old

 

 

 

 

 

 


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