Making You Dumber –
Several weeks ago, Skunk Software released Now I Know My ABCs on the Wii U eShop with an attempt to educate young children. Following up this abysmal digital download, Skunk just released Educational Pack of Kids Games as a sequel of sorts of their alphabet brethren. Unfortunately, like all the other Skunk titles, there is no substance, no educational value, and definitely no entertainment whatsoever.
This $3.99 – 236.4mb Wii U title is composed of several games, each worse and dumber than the last. First is Building Blocks which is basically a free-style Art Of Balance in which the player uses the touch screen to stack blocks freely. While there is no goal or way to get a game over, this portion of the game is probably the most fun in this compilation title even though players will not spend more than 30 seconds with it.
Menu Math is the most difficult game of the lot as the player has to add large numbers together to tally up a restaurant bill. However, this mini game is so out of place it is a wonder why it was included at all. Keep in mind, young kids, probably ages 3-6, will be playing this game but for some reason the player must add up three expensive dinner items from a high-end steak restaurant. First, there is no way a Kindergartener will be able to add up these large numbers. And secondly, five year olds do not go to expensive steak joints. Further, it is a little disturbing that a cow’s meat outline is placed at the top right corner of the screen. This entire game is one huge WTF moment. Making matters worse, the game never explains what do, or any game in this compilation for that matter. It wasn’t until I starting tapping on things on the touch screen did I trigger anything – the player needs to tap three things and then add them together. Without randomly poking around, the player has no clue what the game is asking the player to do.
If Menu Math wasn’t difficult and disturbing enough, Sk8 also fits this bill. Here, the player has to add up a couple large numbers with decimal points before the skater at the bottom of the screen trips over a rock. Uniquely, this is the only game that requires use of the four face buttons instead of solely using the touch screen, and like Menu Math, the game gives no explanation on what to do. The multiple choice answers at the top of the screen look like strange GPS coordinates and wasn’t until I failed a few times did I realize I needed to put the stylus down and use the face buttons.
Play Piano allows the player to tap keys on the GamePad to make a sound as if playing piano. But since there is no goal or explanation, randomly tapping on keys is only fun for about three, maybe four seconds before it gets boring. There is no way to save a song, read music, and the player can only tap the white keys in certain areas to trigger a noise. Again, nothing here makes sense.
Ice Cream Colors is just as bad as the player simply taps the color that the narrator announces. Strangely, this game has nothing to do with ice cream and the background just scrolls to the left for no reason. Nothing here makes sense and young kids who play will not learn anything. The pink color doesn’t even look pink – it is more of a red which can easily confusion any youngster.
Counting Sheep is also pointless. Sheep continuously fall from the sky and… that’s it. If a sheep is tapped, the game counts upward by one. There is no way to count down, make the sheep fall faster or slower, or do anything else. I am not sure how this will teach counting.
Finally, Shapes doesn’t even function properly. The player is supposed to stab one of the four shapes with the stylus and drag them on top of the corresponding silhouette. However, this dragging and dropping mechanic needs to be pixel perfect. Just one pixel off and the game will not register. In fact, young kids will probably thing they are linking the wrong shapes together, making them lose their patience and making them stupider in the process. There is also challenge as there is no way to rotate or swap different shapes.
There is nothing fun or educational about this Wii U eShop digital download. Skunk Software continues to release absolute garbage on Nintendo’s marketplace and gamers should stay as far away as possible. Each game that Skunk has ever produced has no animations and is basically just navigating a menu. Not only are these games not fun, they could very well stutter your child’s educational growth.
Not As Good As: pretty much anything else
Also Try: going to pre-school
Wait For It: Educational Pack of Advance Calculous
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com