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Clifford The Big Red Dog: Thinking Adventures

Children's Games video game by Scholastic for the Computer

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Thinking adventures for thinking kids!

  • Jan 31, 2005
  • by
Pros: Good thinking activities, works on Windows XP

Cons: no John Ritter, average graphics and sound

The Bottom Line: Good kids game, with a good length. Guilt-free babysitting!

Cliffords Thinking adventures are a cut above the typical kids CD-roms. Starring
everyone's favorite genetic mutant Clifford, this learning disc focus on logic
and creative problem solving.

Clifford's Thinking Adventures is a single-disc game designed for 4-6 year olds.
It is simple in function and requires only the mouse. No keyboard or typing
is required. My 5 year old caught on very quickly to the point and click especially
since he has very little experience with computer games.

Like all kid's ROMs, this game is broken up into mini games and creative exercises.
There are shape sorters and free-form drawing and coloring exercises. Each game
is set in a different location that kids will relate to such as the Beach, firehouse
or soccer party.

All of this is encapsulated in one over-arching theme: Emily Elizabeth has
asked for your help in preparing for Clifford's birthday party. From there,
the child needs to hunt down a special gift for Clifford and decorate his cake.
what is good about this over all theme is that it requires the child to remember
the overall goal from location to location as opposed to only being in the moment
during a single exercise. At first my son had a hard time thinking ahead, but
after a while, he would stop the mini-game he was in and say "Ok, I have
to go find Clifford's present now" and he'd stop the mini-game and continue
on with the quest.

The most interesting part of the game was the Town Square, a map of the city.
Certain members of the town such as policemen and firefighters would tell the
player that he needed to go to his house which was the red one across the street
from the house with flowers. dragging the mouse caused Clifford to run to where
the child pointed. Making the child put more than one clue together is an excellent
way of building recognition and more complex though patterns.

The graphics in this game are adequate especially considering it's a CD-Rom
from 5 years ago. The animation is fluid enough to keep the child entertained.
the characters are art style are taken directly from the TV show so any child
should latch on right away

The music is age appropriate and not too annoying. It's basically background
elevator music to go along nicely with the action on the screen.

The effects are decent, nothing to write home about. It consist of clicks and
car sounds, bleeps and whirrs. The voice-acting is well done, but they didn't
get John Ritter to do Clifford. The audio is recorded at a decent sample rate
so they sound is always clear and never muddled.

Also included is a well-produced parent's guide. While only printed in black
and white, the guide gives clues and support for each level so that even parents
won't get stuck. Also included in the manual are the necessary installation
instructions and troubleshooting guide.

As kids' games goes this one is a cut above. While the graphics and audio are
average, the game length kept my son busy for hours. I enjoyed watching him
figure out thinking problems instead of the usual fare of shape matching and
letter recognition. This is one of the first games that actually made my son
think more abstractly.


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About the reviewer
Jeffrey Kafer ()
Ranked #723
Voice over artist specializing in audiobook narration. Hear more at http://audiobook-voice-over.com/ and http://JeffreyKafer.com
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About this video game


Children direct this skill-building journey through Clifford's neighborhood looking for ways to make his party big fun! Kids are presented with challenges that require them to use their problem solving skills to complete various steps. The celebration begins once children have everything they need to throw a party big enough for Clifford!
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Publisher: Scholastic

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