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VTech V.Smile Motion Learning Game - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

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PRODUCT: VTech V.Smile Motion Learning Game - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ( Mouse Clubhouse

DESCRIPTION: A learning game for the V.Smile Motion Active Learning System, based on the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse television series. Suitable for children aged 4 years upwards.

GOOD POINTS: The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse learning game is an excellent additional game for the V.Smile Motion console. The game revolves around the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series on television and includes all the favourite characters such as Pluto, Mickey and Donald, not forgetting the Mouseketools!

On loading the game, there are four categories to choose from: Learning Adventure, Learning Zone, Sing Along, and Options. The Options category simply allows your child to turn the accompanying music on or off during play.

The Learning Adventure zone is split into two: Adventure Play or Quick Play. The Adventure Play option plays out an episode similar to the television-based series, and your child is guided through a series of games in story order, with the ultimate aim of helping Mickey and Pluto find the bouncy ball. There are seven games to complete: Bounce the Bouncy Ball, Fix the Toon Plane, Collect the Balloons, Follow the Flags, Pay Pete, Bouncing by Circle Lake, and Catch the Bouncy Ball.

The games are easy to play using the V.Smile Motion controller, and each is simple to follow with clear oral instructions provided (there is also information on individual game in the user manual). In addition, a status bar stays on screen during each game so that your child can see the number of lives they have left (this can be increased by collecting hearts), and their current score. Once each game is completed, a cumulative score is given. There is also an option for players to continue from where they left off last time, allowing them to play for as long or short time as they want without losing their score.

The second of the options under Learning Adventure, i.e. Quick Play, simply enables your child to choose from any of the seven games mentioned above and play them in any order to practise their skills. For each of the games your child can select from 1 or 2 players, and can choose the appropriate difficulty, either easy or hard. In addition, they can choose to play using either the motion or regular controller. A great feature of the Learning Adventure zone is that players can collect rewards, in the form of gold coins, by reaching certain scores. The score can be saved to a V.Link (sold separately) and the gold coins then used to unlock bonus games on the V.Smile website.

Under the Learning Zone category, your child will be asked to choose from two further games: Find the Letter, and Find the Balloon. The first of these involves all the characters standing on podiums, with the aim of using the controller to move the spotlight through each character and pick out the correct letter from their name as specified on the screen. Every time the task is completed, the score is increased.

The Find the Balloon game requires the player to control Mickey and Pluto's plane in order to select the correctly numbered balloons to complete each pattern or sum shown at the top of the screen. Similar to the other games, the number of players and difficulty level can be chosen prior to play.

The last of the categories, Sing Along, requires the player to use their controller to choose one of two songs, and to select the volume and whether they wish Mickey to accompany them in singing. The words to each song are shown on screen for your child to follow, and the words change colour to help your child stay in time and rhythm.

This really is a very fun learning game for your child to play. The animations are colourful and appealing, and the characters are easy to control. It is a good representation of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as seen on television, with all the well-known phrases thrown in, so players will certainly not be disappointed. From an educational perspective, it is an excellent way of improving your child's basic number, letter, and shape recognition, as well as counting and problem-solving skills. The Adventure Play option is certainly very in-depth and of all the activities is likely to be most appealing to children in the specified age range.

BAD POINTS: None, other than there are only two Sing Along songs to choose from.

PRICE: Approx. £19.99

Available from Toys R Us and Argos 

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