Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Spring 2012 Video Games
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Price: $19.99
Gaming System: Xbox 360

Xbox's intuitive, controller-free, Kinect technology comes up big for little gamers who will love immersing themselves in this fun and educational game. They'll enjoy plenty of physical activity as they interact, dance, dress up and go on adventures with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters.

The game's storyline follows Elmo and Cookie Monster as they read the book Once Upon a Monster along with players. In each of the book's interactive chapters, players meet new and unusual monsters who need some cheering up. How do kids assist these monsters? By helping them achieve their dreams, tackle chores, undertake an adventure, or just have fun in a series of mini games ranging from playing in a band and shooting garbage-can baskets to putting on a play and cleaning up a garden. As players progress through each level of games, they earn bright, shining stars.

But, really, they're earning and learning much more. Best played cooperatively with a friend, Once Upon a Monster does offer some Sesame Street-like lessons such as colors and musical sound matching. More than that, however, it's about being kind, generous, responsible and helpful. In other words, it teaches kids how to be a friend.

All of the characters are wonderfully personable. Graphics, animation, sound and spirit are spot-on from the Sesame Street TV show, so kids who love Sesame Street will feel like they've been Muppetized and have become part of the show. It's age appropriate, too. No reading's required since instructions are provided verbally, and Elmo and Cookie Monster make sure young players don't get sidetracked or stuck. For the youngest videogame players, especially Sesame Street kids, you couldn't do better than this sweet game.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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