In this game, kids practice math skills, including counting, adding, pattern identification, shape identification and relational concepts (bigger than and smaller than) while playing 14 games with their Muppet friends.
Preschoolers can choose to go on an adventure with Cookie Monster and Big Bird to a carnival during which they will be introduced to the learning games. Or, they can jump right in to play the games in the order they want.
In the adventure mode, the Muppets join up with carnival barker Chris, who helps kids learn how to play the games. The games are found in the following four locations: Arcade, Petting Zoo, Food Court and Midway. Playing a game earns Cookie Monster a golden cookie.
We played Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival on all three platforms and found the Wii version to be best. There, kids turn the Wii remote sideways and play by tilting the Wii remote. Kids will also be asked to mimic actions like scooping, shaking or jumping. The Wii version comes with a cute Cookie Monster Wii remote cover which slides over the Wii remote (you need to have the plastic Wii Remote Jacket on it first, or it doesn't quite fit right) and covers up the extraneous buttons. Kids play by using the "2" button and tilting.
The educational games are solid, and they adjust in difficulty (both up and down) depending on how your child is doing. Hints are given when necessary. Most of the games are very good, but a few suffer from cumbersome play mechanics. An example of a well done game is one called Treats. There, kids pour the requisite number of goat treats out of a box by shaking the Wii remote. As the treats pop out, Cookie counts them out loud. An example of one in which the play mechanics aren't as good is called Chill 'n' Catch. There, Cookie Monster is floating on a raft and he needs kids to help him scoop up a specific bunch of toys. The problem is that before kids can scoop, they have to wait quite a while as several of bunches with the wrong amount float by. And, as parents know, preschoolers don't wait well. Also, impatient kids won't like the uninterruptable repetition of instructions.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.