“Pooh’s Party Game: In Search of the Treasure,” a PlayStation virtual board game for kids ages 4-8, is a bust. Its games are too hard for its targeted audience and its interface is confusing.
Children are invited to play in three separate game boards as they search for treasure in The Hundred Acre Wood. In the first, children chase Gopher around a game board in hopes of snagging a treasure map that is stuck to his back. In the second, they race through the woods trying to avoid the Heffalump. The third (and hardest) game board is set in a dark and eerie cave where the treasure is hidden.
Instead of rolling dice to determine the number of moves on the board, children play one of five mini-games against the Pooh gang. How they perform in the game determines the number of moves—finish first (not likely!) and you can move six squares; finish last and you can only move one square.
All five mini-games are difficult to figure out and even harder to win. To understand the directions, it is necessary for children to read—something most 4-5-year-olds can’t do. In one game, children must collect a specific type of fruit while avoiding banana peels and other players. In another, kids race around a track using unresponsive controls. But the worst is one that encourages kids to place “thunderboxes” (dynamite) so that they can blow up their opponents. Jeez—what were the developers thinking?
My advice: skip this one and pull out an old favorite board game.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.