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Review CornerSoftware
Blue's 123 Time Activities
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
Blue's Clues fans will love this early thinking and math program. The activities are as educational as they are entertaining.
Award
Ages: 3-6  Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Humongous Entertainment
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
This is a third Blue's Clues CD-ROM game from Humongous Entertainment and it may very well be the best. Devoted to teaching kids aged 3 to 6 early math and thinking skills, Blue's 123 Time Activities features the lovable characters from the Blue's Clues show. There's a big backyard fair, and Steve greets players in his inimitable fashion. The activities in the game are fun and are as follows:
  • Baby Bear's Card Game is great fun! Kids try to be the first to get rid of all their cards. This is a variation of Go Fish, with a math twist. Kids match shapes and quantities.
  • Bell's Souvenir Stand involves weighing souvenirs to fill requests.
  • In Felt Friend's Pattern Parade, kids help decorate floats by completing patterns.
  • Shovel and Pail's Mother May I? Game uses a simple number line to help kids count and add.
  • Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper's Snack Stand involves using thinking and sorting skills. Kids sort food items according to attribute.
  • In Tink's Train Ride, kids help Tink build his train while learning about adding and subtracting items in the bins.
  • Cash Register's Prize Tent is the place to redeem Blue Dollars that have been earned from playing the other activities. Use Blue Dollars to earn a Big Prize. There are 9 parts needed to assemble each Big Prize.
The jewelcase insert serves as the manual and contains parent and child activities that can be done away from the computer. Each suggested activity complements the activities found in Blue's 123 Time Activities and are very well done. For example, a stuffed animal relay activity that kids and parents can play at home complements the Mother May I? number line game. For help or suggestions at any time during the game, simply press the F1 key.

The video of Steve is done even better than in the previous 2 Blue's Clues CD-ROMs. There is a quiet, almost slow feel to the game that is just like the television show. The children testers were highly motivated to win Blue Dollars and collect their prizes.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, a Pentium 90 processor, 16 Mb RAM, and 4X CD ROM. Mac users require a Power PC with 16 Mb RAM, System 7.5.3 or higher, and at least 4X CD ROM. It requires 10 Mb of hard drive space.

Skills Covered
counting on a number line, simple mathematical operations, story problems, logical thinking, sorting and classifying, sets and subsets, counting, prediction, strategy, matching, shape recognition and discrimination, quantities, estimation, hypothesis testing, weight, measurement, sequencing, ordering, symmetry, counting money

Educational Value
This program is filled with excellent activities that do a good job of teaching basic thinking and math skills. The activities are totally age-appropriate as well.

Entertainment Value
Kids enamored with the Blue's Clues television show will love this game! A kid tester who has never seen the show (yes, there are some kids who haven't seen it) was just as interested in playing. Steve (the human host of the show) appears only in the beginning sequence.

Design
Kids very easily play this software title without any assistance from their parents. The levels of difficulty gradually and automatically advance as kids successfully work through the games and are not adjustable.

Replayability
I expect the program to have good replay value. The games are enjoyable, and the mission to collect Blue Dollars and exchange them for prizes is motivating.

Dollar Value
This program is certainly worth the suggested retail price of $20.

Released: 1999