Toy Story Activity Center
Toy Story Activity Center (Disney Interactive/Pixar – ages 5 & up) is also just like a hundred other games, but in this case most of the competition is also created by Disney, which has refined the coupling of barely-educational activities with marketable characters to an art form (remember the Lion King Activity Center?). Play variations on tic-tac-toe, Simon, maze games, jigsaw puzzles, blackjack, and more. It’s all rendered with stunning Pixar animation, and some of the extra touches are impressively kid-sympathetic (the Simon game, for example, features vomiting aliens; pay attention to the order in which they vomit, then make them vomit in that order again). When the sparkle is stripped away, though, there’s nothing new here – except maybe a willingness to dig even farther back into the ’70s for inspiration (Simon has inspired many CD-ROM games, but this is the first we’ve seen that rips off Lite Brites).
– December 1996