Create Your Own Adventure With Curious George
Create Your Own Adventure With Curious George (Houghton Mifflin Interactive – ages 3-6) is a big disappointment, especially since the demo we saw at last year’s E3 looked so promising. Rascally George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are both here, waiting for you to send George on a series of simple adventures – to town, to the zoo, or to the lake. George, by definition, is a bit too curious for his own good, and clicking around in different scenes results in different sorts of troubles, usually involving George climbing something he shouldn’t, which then topples to the ground. At this point the program offers simple games; pick up the shoes you knocked over and match them into pairs, or catch all the fruit before it hits the ground. At the lake you can make and race boats, and fly a kite; at the zoo you can wander around, hear animals make noises, and pick things up. Graphics are bare-bones, but faithful to the tenor of books. When you’ve had all the fun you can stomach, head back home and your adventure concludes. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity as a rule – kids appreciate it. Curious George, however, runs so poorly that even the simplicity doesn’t come across very well. Everything flickers and moves at a snail’s pace, a problem compounded by the fact that George won’t sit still while you make up your mind what to do next. He moves around constantly, confusing both the program and the player. You can make your own book of your adventure, a nice touch that still fails to save the rest of the disc. If a little more attention had been paid to obvious necessities like a smooth-running program, the CD-ROM would be a fine product that caters effectively to its target audience.