Review: Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster, Xbox 360

Greetings once more, its Alex here from Daddacool. The lady wife is out so I’m making merry on her blog. Muhahaha. Today I’m going to be reviewing  Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster on the Xbox 360.

Last week I went to a Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Showcase evening in London. Wifey had been invited by we agreed at 6 months pregnant, jumping and flailing about like a loon probably wasn’t the sanest thing to do. There were a number of kid specific games available for us to try, and the pick of these was  Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster.

For the unitiated, the Kinect is a motion controller for the Xbox 360. This means you don’t use a controller, the cameras track your movements and translate it into on screen action. This is particularly useful for smaller children as the relationship between moving a joystick and something on screen is quite abstract when you think about it.

If you’re the one person on the planet who has failed to ever see an episode of Sesame Street, the game is still acessible to you and your children. In fact they’ll probably take to it better than you. You’ll be too busy lapping up the lush graphics and excellent production values which (whisper it softly) outstrip the TV show by some considerable margin.

The game itself is presented in a selection of mini games via the medium of a large book that the player can turn the pages of. In typical Sesame Street fashion, underlying the game is a sense of moral and emotional education that doesn’t get in the way too much for adults and will be near subliminal for kids.

For example, today we had fun with Cookie Monster, flapping our arms as we held leaves to fly up a tree and collect things, we rode on the shoulders of a monster called Marv as we jumped to collect things and we had great fun dressing our characters up. So much fun that bedtime was delayed twice and only actually occurred after a promise had been extracted to continue the dressing up tomorrow.

It’s such harmless fun too, but not boring. Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster isn’t perfect, the boy got frustrated on more than one occasion by the kinect option screen popping up when he stepped out of sensor range. The game lets people step in and out, which meant it very occasionally got its knickers in a twist when Fifi ran across the sitting room. I’m also the sort of person who never reads instruction booklets, so when a little screen pops up obscuring our view of the game by showing us in a camera window, I get annoyed but not annoyed enough to check it out in the manual. That’s my fault, not the games though.

All in all then, Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster is well worth a purchase if you have kids. Childrens games often get the short end of the stick, the belief being kids are far less discerning than adults usually results in substandard games. I’m pleased to say Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster is a beautiful exception to that rule.

Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster is released on 14 April, with an RRP of £49.99 but can be had for around £40 from most major retailers- Amazon are selling it for £38 at the moment.

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