Kidsongs: Musical Mystery
TerraGlyph, whose Hansel and Gretel interactive storybook broke new multimedia ground with its simultaneous animations, has yet to reproduce that early success. Subsequent projects, while perfectly satisfactory, have all been burdened by flaws. Kidsongs: Musical Mystery (ages 3-7) continues this unfortunate trend. Follow a Seuss-ian creature (Billy or Ruby Biggle) around a music-oriented world, trying to help Professor Majorchord find a bunch of lost instruments. Browse a musical mall, a musical railroad station, a musical farmhouse, etc.; click and point on everything; whenever you find an instrument, you must return it to its rightful owner. There are a few games thrown into the mix as well, involving a talking doorway that demands you solve its challenges before you can pass through (which picture matches the sound? which picture doesn’t fit in with the other pictures?). It’s not quite educational, though it does serve to familiarize kids with basic instruments and musical genres. TerraGlyph’s trick of simultaneous animations, however, falls flat here, probably because most of the “animations” are more auditory than visual. In Hansel and Gretel, you could click madly around the screen and watch a dozen little plays unfold at once. In Kidsongs, you can click madly around the screen and listen to a dozen little songs playing at the same time. Which sounds, of course, pretty awful.
– December 1996