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Blue's Birthday Adventure is part of the Blue's Clues Series created by Humongous Entertainment. It is based on the educational TV show, Blue's Clues, for preschoolers and is shown on Nickelodeon, the cable network for children. Blue is an inquisitive puppy who lives with her friend Steve. In Blue's Birthday Adventure she's helping Steve plan her birthday party by leaving him clues, her paw prints--which Steve deciphers with your help. There is also a Blue's ABC Time Activities game at $19.99. The price of Blue's Birthday Adventure is $29.99 and is on 2 CDs that can be used with a PC with Windows or a Macintosh. The Humongous Entertainment Web site is a great place for both parents and kids to visit. There is all sorts of information, games and such.

Blue's Birthday Adventure is designed for preschoolers ages 3-6. The game has adjustable levels of difficulty and emphasizes early learning skills such as:

  • Critical thinking and logical problem solving;
  • Deductive reasoning;
  • Spatial perception and relationships;
  • Sorting, classifying and matching;
  • Colors, shapes and patterns;
  • Sound discrimination;
  • Counting.

Installation. The program was very easy to install. One excellent feature of Humongous products for users who have limited disk space is that they don't take that much space. The program is on two CDs and you can start with either one. You don't have to switch discs in the middle of playing like some other games. Each CD contains two new adventure "pathways" which can be played in any order. The two CDs are color coded red and yellow.

Interface. The interface is well-done and children love to see the same characters they already know from the television series. Throughout the game, there are clickable surprises. There are hidden animations in each area of Steve's house. Children can click on objects and characters and watch as Blue's world comes to life. Most clickable surprises will continue to respond with each successive click and produce several different responses so children should click on an item more than once.

Pathways. You start each program by personalizing the game with your name, birthday and favorite color and Steve remembers each user's name. After signing in, you can make a choice between two icons/pathways. Steve will greet you as he does on television. Blue will then stamp her paw print on the screen to tell you and Steve that she wants to play. But you have to help Steve wipe off the paw print before you can begin to look for clues.

Each pathway includes one full Blue's Clues game with three clues, an interactive Handy Dandy Notebook to enter the clues in, two or three multi-level learning activities and more. Although you can play the activities just for fun you may need to play them to help find clues. There are also objects to be collected in the Party Bag. Also watch for "Blue Skidoos" which when clicked allow you to jump to a remote location. Blue and Steve skidoo right into the farm in one pathway and even sing a little song about it. There is one skidoo in each pathway.

The two pathways on the Yellow disc are:

"What Does Blue Want to Give Her Party Guests?"
This pathway has something special for Blue: her presents! Visiting a Present Store is fun. You can also use a handy-dandy art program to make a birthday card for Blue.

"What Does Blue Want to Eat at her Party?"
When you find three more clues, you will discover what Blue wants to eat at her party. There are wonderful animals in this pathway: a pig, a cow, and some baby chicks.

The two pathways on the Red disc are:

"What Does Blue Want to Do at Her Party?"
The clues will help you find out what Blue wants to do. There is an intriguing instrument puzzle to solve and flowers to pick.

"What Does Blue Want to Play at Her Party?"
You can help Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper make the birthday cake.

Friends. Kids get to interact with an interesting bunch of characters including: Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper and their baby, Paprika; Baby Bear; Megenta; Cash Register; Mailbox; Shovel and Pail; Slippery Soap; Tickety Tock; and the Felt Friends.

Blue's Birthday Adventure is very age-appropriate with its number of multi-level activities and numerous hidden clickables. The blend of animation and video is good and not silly stuff. There are enough challenging hide and seek style games, sing the songs and dancing with the tunes to entice any child.
Processor: Pentium/90MHz or higher
Operating System: Windows 95 or higher
Memory: 16MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 80MB
256 color monitor (460 x 480)
4X CD-ROM drive
Sound Card

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