It had to happen. Pokémon is invading our lives--now the colorful characters are even creeping into our PCs. In this case, however, parents can be happy to have their kids interacting with the Pokémon gang. This program lets kids explore their creativity and even helps develop useful computer graphics skills.
There are two versions of Pokémon Project Studio from the Learning Company: the Blue Version, and the Red Version. Both versions function like other print studio programs, allowing kids to create everything from calendars and party invitations to necklaces, masks, stickers, tatoos, key chains, stationery and much more. Each contains 80 of the 151 Pokémon characters, and both versions include the top 10 creatures.
As with other programs in the print studio category, there is very little classroom oriented educational value in Pokémon Project Studio. That does not, however, mean that the program does not help children develop important thinking skills. Creating their own satisfying and unique projects encourages kids to problem solve, explore and expand their artistic abilities. More importantly, it also provides kids with a sense of pride and accomplishment in a job well-done.
As with most programs of this type, value increases as the child learns the ins and outs of the program. Included tools allow kids to simply customize existing designs or go wild creating truly unique projects.
Our kid testers were already Pokémon enthusiasts. They couldn't get enough of the program, and commented that "any kid that likes Pokémon will love Pokémon Project Studio!" As one parent reviewer commented: "Much of the Pokémon paraphernalia is junk, but kids don't care -- they want it anyway. It's great to find something kids love that parents can feel good about."
Ease of Use / Install
This program installs without difficulty. The program's user interface is almost identical to that used in the Nick-O-Matic Design Studio from The Learning Company's parent company Mattel Interactive. Our kid testers found this interface relatively easy to use, but agreed that a thorough reading of the included User's Guide increased their understanding of the program, thereby increasing the program's overall versatility. As expected, younger users need guidance to do more advanced projects.
Best for... / Bottom-Line
Kids will clamor for this program regardless of its merits. Thankfully, it's one Pokémon product that parents can feel good about buying.