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spacer all reviews > > > Spanish software and French software

Mia's Language Adventure: The Kidnap Caper

Kutoka

Ages 6 to 10

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
3.0

Mia’s Language Adventure: The Kidnap Caper arrow indentSystem Requirements

arrow indentPC / Mac Price Survey

arrow indentProduct Support

Enter the amazing 3D world of Mia the Mouse! The winner of the annual community art contest, Grandma Mimi, mysteriously disappears during the award ceremony. Was she kidnapped? Mia and her friends are baffled. You must help Mia and her friends find the mastermind behind this crime and locate her beloved grandmother.

Mia’s Language Adventure, with its superb graphics and very engaging characters, is a unique introduction to a second language. All activities are available in both French and Spanish with three levels of difficulty.

Educational Value

The language games in The Kidnap Caper are sequenced, progressing from distinguishing the sounds of letters of the alphabet and spelling words to deciphering simple dialogue. To solve clues in the kidnapping quest, players must recognize and name objects, identify action verbs, describe an object with adjectives, and conjugate “to have” and “to be.” Content from beginning lessons are reviewed in the more advanced games as the player progresses, reinforcing the learning. While leading Mia on her journey to find her grandmother, players also strengthen their memory, logic, and observation skills.

The learning activities within The Kidnap Caper are really games within the main game (the quest game to find Grandma Mimi). The activities can also be played on their own. However, players can select activities in any order, so the learning will not be progressive. Also, if played on their own there is no reward or acknowledgement for completing the activities; the game simply “turns off” and goes back to the previous screen.

For the ultimate educational value, The Kidnap Caper is best played in the context of the quest game, not as the series of separate activities.

Kid Appeal

The Kidnap Caper is initially very appealing, with movie quality graphics and delightful characters. The characters and kidnapping quest idea appealed to both girls and boys. Kids with high concentration levels liked this game. Other kids could become easily frustrated with the navigation and sometimes vague instructions. The game can be very time consuming and slow to play. Some activities take time to load and the instructions for games can be lengthy. Kids who like detective stories and quest games will love Mia.

Ease of Use / Install

Installing The Kidnap Caper takes some time (about five to ten minutes!). You must restart the computer after installation to play. Navigating through Mia’s 3D world is difficult without a set of written instructions. But if you don’t take the time to listen to the instructions in the beginning of the game and write them down, you will be lost. The most basic instruction is to be a discoverer and look for clues everywhere. You will not move on in the game if you don’t collect all the clues, which can be frustrating. Clicking on EVERYTHING with the mouse is a good idea. Other instructions include using the arrow keys to get Mia to ride her skateboard (beware you may whiz past clues if she is riding!) and using the F3 key to stop and save the game.

Some of the language activities within the game were also hard to navigate. Two games in particular were very frustrating. In one, the player must turn the knobs of a radio to select words. Grabbing the knob and turning it was very difficult. This made the activity very slow and tedious.

Best for... / Bottom-Line

The Kidnap Caper is best for kids with high levels of concentration. The game is equally appealing to both boys and girls. This is definitely a game for home rather than school use. Kids who are easily bored by educational games that use a lot of drills will be pleased with the complex story and the greater goal of the quest.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Spanish and French software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium II 400MHz or faster cpu, 300 MB hard drive space, 128 MB RAM, DirectX 8.1, 12X or faster CD-ROM, .

Mac: MacOS X (Jaguar), G3 400MHz or faster cpu, 300 MB hard drive space, 128 MB RAM, 800x600x24bit display, 12X or faster CD-ROM, .

Reviewed on:
-     Pentium III - 750 running Windows Me, with 128MB RAM and 24x - CD-ROM
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