When Nintendo branded its latest video game technology, the Wii, it must have had families in mind. Moms can do yoga, dads can practice golf swings, teens can bounce to Rock Band, and now the wee ones can get involved with games like Knowledge Adventure's JumpStart's Pet Rescue ($40). Preschool-age tots who are awestruck by their older siblings slinging the remote around the living room can do the same as they search for lost pets in an adventurous learning environment. And while it may be geared towards a younger crowd, it hasn't stopped the more mature sisters from sneaking on to enjoy the animal exposition.
To see what we liked about it and what left us wondering,
Like any other Wii game, youngsters can explore their imagination as they create a unique avatar and accompanying pets. Once the character is set in motion, players experience a jaunt to the virtual library and down a water slide all whilst improving memory, listening and motor skills. During their journey, they will also unknowingly practice pre-reading skills. Give a kid a workbook or a video game that both have the same goal and I'd bet the lass will choose the latter. Possibly the best feature of the game is that children get to keep and care for their rescued pets, which entails feeding, grooming, training and playing with them. It is a valuable life lesson and it may keep the lil guys from begging for a real dog. Hallelujah! That's music to many a mom's ears. The only tough part of the game is getting an early stage preschooler to manage the remote. Though it is targeted for tots age 3 to 6, in my control group, it was the 5 and 7-year-old who enjoyed it most.