Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster Xbox 360 Review

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox 360

Publisher – Warner Bros. Interactive – Developer – Double Fine Productions – Genre – Mini-game Collection – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

Love it or hate it, Kinect has unarguably been a great entry point into gaming for those not used to the button-filled controller – everyone from the older generation who wouldn’t even attempt to play a game previously to young children that may not really have the attention span to learn how to use a controller. Kinect certainly opens up new possibilities for how games are played in terms of simplicity.

Double Fine’s Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is obviously a game designed with the little ones in mind, and because it uses Kinect, it’s a game that will be able to be picked up by just about anyone. Certainly, these are Kinect controls that keep things simple, which will certainly give kids – big and small – something to smile about.

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is storybook themed, which means the game appears to be taking place inside of a storybook. Menus are laid out in such a fashion that you’ll be flipping through pages, while familiar characters from the show will be making an appearance, and you’ll be helping out those in need. Older players may not care much for the squeaky Elmo, although the target audience will be in heaven.

To be honest, if you grew out of Sesame Street many years ago, then Once Upon a Monster may not be for you. This is a game that keeps things free of complexity or challenge – a game which gives kids a sense of accomplishment, even if they aren’t really up to the task. If you’re an older player who can’t get past this, then play something else instead.

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is essentially a fun mini game collection for up to two players. There’s dressing up, plant watering, object tossing, dancing, and more to be done within the duration of the game. The controls are simple and are forgiving in terms as to what gestures it lets you away with. Failure is also near impossible, with the game kindly moving you on if you find yourself stuck on a section, which is that false sense of accomplishment for children that I mentioned.

For those that care about such things, there is a grading system which grades your success through stars, giving the game some replay value. Getting through all six chapters of the story will only take around three hours or so, but I can see youngsters returning to this time and time again to interact with their favourite characters, well at least until they grow out of it.

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is a fun, colourful and charming game that is both gentle and educational. The simplicity and the leniency of the Kinect controls mean that this is a game that any hyperactive child – big or small – can easily pick up. It may feel a little slight, although there’s still enough here to satisfy.

8/10

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