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Review: Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece for Nintendo DS

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Review: Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece for Nintendo DS

Well if it isn’t good, old Elmo — Sesame Street’s sweet, lovable red Muppet. Now to be honest, I haven’t looked at the cute, little furball quite the same way ever since Jon Stewart started doing his Gitmo puppet skits on the Daily Show (Curse you, Jon Stewart!) The good news is that the target audience for Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece for the Nintendo DS shouldn’t have the same issues. Yes, parents and kids of all ages, this is the same cuddly, G-rated Elmo that you’ve grown to love through the years.

Of course, the question now is, just how well does this Elmo video game play? How about we take a closer look, shall we? For starters, it’s quite obvious that this game was designed with young kids in mind. At its heart, Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece is an educational game geared toward teaching little ones various concepts that we’ve seen from various Sesame Street shows over the years. You’ve got basic stuff like learning how to identify shapes as well as activities involving numbers with the tried and true Count. Then again, the title does say Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece so the game obviously includes teaching moments that involve music as well. These include mini-games designed to teach young kids about musical concepts such as rhythm and tempo. Helping maintain interest in the game is a cast of familiar characters. Besides Elmo and the aforementioned Count, Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece also features Abby Cadabby and the adorable Honkers, who just seem tailor-made for a game such as this.

Now, although the game certainly does several things well, it also has a few issues. One involves its graphics, which admittedly look a bit muddy and lack detail. Granted, Nintendo’s DS is showing its age but I have certainly seen my fair share of DS games that look better than this game. Still, this is something that young children likely wouldn’t mind so much. One thing they might, however, is wonky game design with some mini-games. One activity that involves Elmo running and jumping across the neighborhood, for example, have controls that feel a bit off. It’s not that big a deal but such issues typically get more magnified with kids who do not have the same level of coordination as older children or adults.

Speaking of older kids, you’ll want to keep your child’s age in mind when mulling whether to get this game or not. The lessons are essentially based on Sesame Street’s early development curriculum, which means it’s great for little kids but too simple for older ones. As a result, older kids could easily get bored with the game, regardless of how much they like Sesame Street.

Despite the aforementioned qualms, Elmo’s Musical Monsterpiece works quite well for its intended target audience. The activities are simple enough for young kids to get while the extra dose of nostalgia is good for parents who like sit next their child and help them out with the game if needed. It’s also pretty cheap and costs just $19, so it won’t put a big dent on the old wallet. Check it out if you’re looking for an educational game for your child.

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ELMO’S MUSICAL MONSTERPIECE
  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Cost: $19
  • Final rating: 3 stars out of 5
  • Official site: www.sesamestreetvideogames.com
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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