Monday, January 11, 2010

Video Games: Storybook Workshop

As happens too often around here, I'm a little late on this one since it was released this past November. However, here it is!

Storybook Workshop is a new game for the Wii aimed at the preschool set. First, here's a trailer from Konami, the maker:

And further product information from Amazon:


Including 16 famous children's fairy tales, Storybook Workshop offers plenty of make-believe fun. Reminisce on your own childhood story time as you read well-known favorites such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling and The Golden Goose. Read in your own voice, or use the Magic Voice feature to change your voice to sound like characters from the stories. You can also sing along to four classic children's songs and record them, so boys and girls can listen to the performances on their own.

Key Game Features:

Features 16 children's fairy tales to listen to or perform, such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling, The Town Musicians of Bremen, Be Kind to the Earth, The Boy Who Went to the North Wind, The Little Match Girl, The Happy Prince, The Giant Turnip, A Glove and Hats for the Jizos, Three Wishes, The Star Money, The Elves and the Shoemaker, and The Golden Goose

Serves as an interactive book with fairy tales from around the world written by Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, Aesop and other famous authors

Play mini games and sing along to four classic children's songs

Record readings as well as the songs you perform in Singalong mode

Change your voice to match that of a fairy tale character with the Magic Voice feature

Earn rewards the more you read, such as the ability to feature your Mii in select stories

Virtual sticker pad helps track progress

So far, the reviews are limited and mixed. I think, as always, this type of game depends on the players using it and what they expect from it. As a tool for interacting with children with stories, it should be somewhat satisfactory. (Although I prefer an actual book myself!) As a tool for teaching literacy, not so much, which some parents seemed to think it would do. After all, the game is actually aimed at the pre-reading set.

I find the game interesting and would love to try it with a child, but am not going to buy it to test it. I have some of my own ideas about what would make a great fairy tale video game after all of the reading I've done this past year. And I am not a gamer although I admit the Wii has gotten me to play more than any other previous system. Current favorites: Just Dance and Wii Sports Resort...

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