When I was given the opportunity to review a new edutainment (education meets entertainment) game for children, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been waiting anxiously since then to check it out with my youngest son CJ. We finally got the software and got it installed this morning. This is a review of Mia Reading: The Bugaboo Bugs.
MIA Reading: The Bugaboo Bugs is the latest addition to an educational software series that got it’s start ten years ago. This title is labeled for ages 5-9 or kindergarten to grade 3. You’re going to need a dvd player in your computer in order to play it. Any question in your mind as to why the company chose to put it on dvd instead of cd will be erased when you see terrific 3D scenery, the vivid colors and the wonderful graphics. The hybrid software will work on Windows 2000, XP and Vista on a P3 1ghz processor or higher, as well as Macintosh computers running OS X with a 1ghz processor or higher.
CJ loves to try and use the computer and his mouse skills have been improving. In this game Mia can be controlled by keyboard or mouse. If you aren’t familiar with Mia, she is a mouse. Her family’s lived in their home for generations and it’s being taken over by pests called The Bugaboos. Mia has to get rid of the Bugaboos before the humans that live in the house notice them and bring in exterminators, which would get them all put out.
This game can be played in Adventure or Activity mode. When playing in Adventure mode the game travels a storyline beginning with the arrival of the Bugaboos. Throughout the game your child has to tasks to do to gain access to the different activities that need to be completed to move on. When playing in Activities mode your child is allowed to choose from all of the activities within the game without playing along with the storyline. The picture to the left is of the Activities dashboard, where players choose what game they want to play and at what level of difficulty. In each of the activities there are four levels of difficulty available.
Activities are designed to coincide with a typical child’s school curriculum. Skills practiced by playing this game include word-image association, punctuation, phonics, rhymes, spelling, vocabulary, word recognition, verb tense, adverbs, sentence structure, reading comprehension and following instructions. An example of one activity is matching words that sound alike with each other. The picture shows where we matched bone to phone and cake to snake.
My son is 9 and has Down Syndrome. This game proved to be a bit above his level to play alone so we played it together. CJ liked the pictures and characters in this game. He enjoyed “helping” me play. The game is one that both children and parents will enjoy. Children will enjoy a game full of fun characters with young, friendly voices, animation and challenges. Parents will be very comfortable letting their children play a fun that will help reinforce their education without being a task. There is no violence or inappropriate material.
MIA Reading: The Bugaboo Bugs is made by Kutoka and can be bought online from Kutoka as well as in certain retail stores in the US, Quebec and English Canada. I’m really glad I got a chance to check this game out with my son. I recommend it highly for the educational value and the entertainment. I was so impressed with this piece of software that I’d really like to get Didi and Ditto for kindergarten age children, because I think it would really help my son while providing him with some computer fun.