Educational titles are a bit of a rarity on the PS3, let alone ones for pre-school children. Enter “Learning With The Pooyoos”, a series of activities for very young children featuring a cast of cute cartoon animals. The game recommends 3-6 year olds, though that might be a stretch.
My take on Learning with the PooYoos Ep1 is that it’s a great game for 3 year olds. It probably wouldn’t hold the attention of the upper limit of its recommended age range simply because there isn’t much to do. Every child is different of course. This issue will be alleviated once there are more episodes on the PSN. What there is though is a lot of fun and it’s good to have a game that encourages interaction without penalising the player for not doing the actions perfectly.
So, what sort of activities will your child be doing? Pointing a torch to find a panda hiding in the bushes, dancing along to some of the most infuriatingly catchy songs ever, matching shapes and so on. Frequently the game asks questions like “what colour is the cloud?” (with a voice, not text prompts. It’s crazy how many children’s games have too many text prompts) which do get repetitive but that really isn’t a bad thing with young children. There’s definitely a greater slant towards entertainment than education in Episode one, but I think that’s perfect. There really isn’t much aimed at kids this old and its great to see them enjoy themselves.
You can play the game with either the standard Dual Shock controls or more interestingly – with the Playstation Move. The latter option is valuable as although the educational value of Episode 1 is very limited – it does a very good job of teaching the child how to use basic motion controls in a friendly, eye-catching way. That might seem like a small deal but it’s actually pretty impressive. We’ve tried a few children’s games on the Wii with our daughter (currently three) and she needs to be helped to do almost everything. Between Pooyoos and to a (much) lesser extent Start The Party she’s a lot more confident with the controls now.
Unsurprisingly, the reason this is on the Move is that it’s a remixed port of some of the Pooyoos games released on the Wiiware store. I can’t compare it as I haven’t tried the Wii versions, but the visuals, though not cutting edge by any means do look pretty in HD resolutions. I’m sure it’s a good series to buy into if you only have a Wii too but my daughter finds using the round PS:Move wand much easier than the squarey and comparatively button-covered Wii Remote.
The main reason I’d mark this down is due to the limited content. Though a very young child might get a lot of enjoyment out of this it’s hard to give a really high rating. Realising that later episodes will likely bring more activities, and each one is likely to cost $8 / £6 a pop.. It could work out pretty expensive. Saying that, if they end up being bundled together it could be pretty great.
Conclusion: More than fit for purpose, but it’s a pretty small niche and its not great value.
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