Sesame Street: Once Upon a MonsterSpring 2012 Video Games
Xbox's intuitive, controller-free, Kinect technology comes up big for little gamers who will love immersing themselves in this fun and educational game. They'll enjoy plenty of physical activity as they interact, dance, dress up and go on adventures with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters.
The game's storyline follows Elmo and Cookie Monster as they read the book Once Upon a Monster along with players. In each of the book's interactive chapters, players meet new and unusual monsters who need some cheering up. How do kids assist these monsters? By helping them achieve their dreams, tackle chores, undertake an adventure, or just have fun in a series of mini games ranging from playing in a band and shooting garbage-can baskets to putting on a play and cleaning up a garden. As players progress through each level of games, they earn bright, shining stars.
But, really, they're earning and learning much more. Best played cooperatively with a friend, Once Upon a Monster does offer some Sesame Street-like lessons such as colors and musical sound matching. More than that, however, it's about being kind, generous, responsible and helpful. In other words, it teaches kids how to be a friend.
All of the characters are wonderfully personable. Graphics, animation, sound and spirit are spot-on from the Sesame Street TV show, so kids who love Sesame Street will feel like they've been Muppetized and have become part of the show. It's age appropriate, too. No reading's required since instructions are provided verbally, and Elmo and Cookie Monster make sure young players don't get sidetracked or stuck. For the youngest videogame players, especially Sesame Street kids, you couldn't do better than this sweet game.