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When compared with the truly interactive software programs currently available for toddlers, Play with the Teletubbies is mediocre at best. It’s hardly interactive, especially since many of the opportunities to interact are awkward and don’t always produce the desired result. Educationally, it includes video clips from the BBC television program, bright colors and pleasant graphics, but little else. In short, unless the intended user is a great fan of the Teletubbies themselves, this program holds little appeal.
For those who have no experience with the Teletubby characters, they are brightly colored aliens with screens on their tummies and antennae on their heads. To the uninformed they look a bit like pacifiers or baby bottles with faces. Known as Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, these child-like pals are hardly exemplary language users -- they speak in the most elementary baby-talk, cooing and giggling, querying “gain-y-gain?” when asking to play the game again, and reciting “Tinkle winkle, Tinky Winky” for added intrigue.
The program itself includes 7 activities, from “Tubby toast” where toast slices pop from a large toaster machine and land on a table, to “Chase the Noo-Noo” in which a race ensues pitting Teletubbies against their machine friend, to the “Hiding Game” in which the user helps a Teletubby friend search for its buddies. If the activities lose their appeal, the child can choose to make music by moving clouds around the sky, or play videos on the Teletubbies tummies.
The program features a ‘Pink Sparkler’ mouse cursor that enables the child to guide the Teletubbies through program activities. Our testers found the cursor difficult to use, noting that it often didn’t work appropriately. “My child had trouble using the cursor,” commented one parent reviewer. “Sometimes it successfully controlled the Teletubbies movements and the activity available, but at other times we were helpless to control the action. My daughter became frustrated and gave up trying to interact.”
Quitting this program involves a lengthy leave-taking sequence including credits that cannot be bypassed with a mouse click. Exiting via the Alt+F4 option is therefore recommended.
PC: Windows 95 or 98, Pentium 90 or faster cpu, 30 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, High color (16-bit) graphic display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, Sound Blaster 16-bit sound card (or 100% compatible).return to top of page
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