Title: Muppets on Stage
Source: Sunburst Communications
Playing Time: 20min
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Computer
with floppy disk drive, sound option on the computer.
Subject Area: Letter recognition, number
Objectives: To attain a clearer understanding
of letter and number recognition. Including the understanding of the
between a letters image as uppercase and lower case and the sounds
by the letter. To recognize the image of a number, and the meaning behind
the number. It further familiarizes children with the keyboard. Helps
children identify patterns, and develop one-to-one correspondence.
Brief Description: The muppet characters
take the child on a "discovery" of letters and numbers using animation,
music, and recognizable objects to guide the child through the game.
Entry Capabilities Required: basic
of a keyboard, use of a mouse, ability to hear the program. Number recognition
1-9, letter recognition.
Relevance to objectives: 4 The objectives
are met as long as the child remained interested long enough to have repetition
and ask questions while playing.
Strong Points: Muppets
on Stage would be a good choice for preschool age children with little
experience using other computer games such as those seen in CD ROM. It
is also very appropriate for a slower child needing continuos repetition.
This game would also be a good choice if the teacher or parent would be
assisting the young child as they played the game. A knowledge and interest
of the muppets by the child is also important in keeping their interest.
It is a valuable tool within the classroom when used with the corresponding
lessons given with the program.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
3 The child was not asked to answer questions to move along in the game,
they are simply asked to choose the "go" button. This creates a loss of
interest and concepts are lost easily.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 2
Muppets on stage captures the child's interest by using familiar characters
and music. This interest in slowly lost through slow animation and lack
of interaction between the game and player. This game may keep a young
child in the preschool age interested longer. This game is also a few years
old, in completion with games available on CD ROM. These CD ROM games provide
a tremendous amount of interaction, faster animation and clearer sound.
Children used to playing games such as those would become bored with a
slower game such as Muppets on Stage.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3 This
game for the first time user is not easily understood. It is difficult
to understand directions, and impossible without sound. The lack of written
directions and spoken direction appearing simultaneously in a disadvantage.
The objectives also are not comprehend quickly to the lack of player game
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
4 This game, if cared for properly would be durable. The attractiveness
of the game catches the child's interest early on, although has a difficult
time maintaining it.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 1 Because the game
requires little interaction between player and game there is no winner
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4 This game
is realistic in the since that the letters and numbers are accurate. The
Muppet Characters are also depicted accurately and music used is representative
of the actual Muppets television show.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
Clear directions for play: 2 The directions
are unclear, the main draw back is a result of the absence of written
It is impossible of a child with a hearing disability to play this game,
as the directions are unclear when only seen. Vocabulary/ language
recognition is not encouraged because of a lack of sight words correlating
with the words heard.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
2 The overall conclusion of the game with goals accomplished is seen in
the printed book correlating with the game. The effectiveness could only
be seen if the child played the game with the teacher or parent. A child
playing this game alone would not benefit from a debriefing concluding
the end of the game since it is not seen in the game itself.
Muppets on Stage is not a "state of the art" game. Therefore, children
used to the fast paced animation's, graphics and music would become easily
bored with this slow paced game. A child playing alone would also have
difficulty following initial direction, resulting in attention being lost.
The importance of an adult present to play this game diminishes its use
as a additional tool to assist children in reviewing their numbers and
Reviewer: Erika Vesterby
Position: under grad
Date: September 21, 1998
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.