What do I look for in a video game for my four year old?
- By far, the most important things is the ability for him to play on his own. We don't let Punkin nap anymore, so especially at school, he needs something quiet that he can do when his classmates are napping.
- I also like for the games he plays to have some educational value, because I'd like to think he's learning something while his face is in a screen. Yes, I know there's varied opinions on just how much kids actually learn in front of a screen, but that is another post.
- Lastly, of course, the game has to have a fun factor that will keep his attention for more than 5 minutes at a time and that will have lasting appeal. If he plays it one time and doesn't want to play it again, then it's obviously a waste of money.
When we opened up this game, I sat down with Punkin to help him get started. He selected a cute penguin to be his pet (there are also the more traditional puppy dog or kitty cat as options). After some debate, he settled on the name Hoppy.
I thought there was quite a bit of involvement needed from me to get him going. First, Punkin can't read yet, so any screen that had words on them, he would ask me to read to him. I also didn't find the game very intuitive myself. There were quite a few times when I wasn't sure exactly what we were supposed to be doing to "take care of" our penguin.
Punkin played with Hoppy for about five to ten minutes the first time and, unfortunately, he didn't ask to play with him again. I did remind him the next day and asked if he wanted to play with him again on a car ride. He said yes, but about ten minutes down the road, he declared that he was all done. He then started playing Mario Kart (which I know has no educational value whatsoever, but it did keep him content for the next forty-five minutes).
So, even though this game wasn't a success for us, I can see this being popular with other kids. I think my niece would really enjoy this game, so she may be receiving an extra present this Christmas!
If you'd like to buy this for your child for Christmas, you can do so through Toys R Us (not an affiliate link).
While Ubisoft provided me with this game to review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Ubisoft, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.