Review: Elmo's World Software

Sunday, October 25, 2009 Posted by Dina N

Elmo's World is an educational software for preschoolers. My daughter is a big fan of Sesame Street, and I thought she would enjoy interacting with her favorite characters on the computer. Elmo's World has the potential of a decent software. It is educational, features Elmo as the game host, promotes learning and teaches computer literacy via exploration activities and fun games that grow progressively harder according to the player's skills.

Unfortunately, this software is a bit lacking as far as interaction. There is too much sitting around and listening to Elmo which eventually may become a bit irritating, at least to innocent adult bystanders. That would not be much of an issue - as a parent, I am used to high-pitched voices coming out of cartoon characters. A big downside of this software is that it hangs up frequently, with no apparent reason - a white screen appears and there is no way out, unless you hit ctrl+alt+delete and stop the game, or re-start the computer. I tried re-installing it but that did not help. It appears there are some bugs in this program that needed to be addressed before it hit the stores. My daughter enjoyed using the software and wanted to play again the next day. However, she was quite upset when the program suddenly stopped working and she had to start all over.

One annoying feature of Elmo's World software is that when you try to exit the game, Elmo is asking for confirmation a couple of times, then you have to sit through some sort of "subtitles" listing the names of the game creators, and similar information that neither you nor your child have any interest to read. Besides, this is hardly educational. Such information belongs in the About section, in a Readme file, or possibly on the box in tiny letters. What happened to a straightforward "Are you sure you want to exit? Yes / No"?

In conclusion, Elmo's World seems more a project under development than a finished product. Compared to another educational software program by the same company that I had a chance to review, Elmo's World is clearly lacking. If your kids like Dora the Explorer, check out my earlier post about Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom software.

* I received a complimentary copy of Elmo's World for review. The views expressed are my own and based on my personal experience with this product.

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