* Prices may differ from that shown
My eldest son, Christopher, is 21 months old and is like most children his age apart from one thing - a fairly serious obsession with tools and Bob the Builder. He no longer cries out for Mum or Dad when he wakes, the sounds of 'Bob!', 'Hammer!', and 'Drill!' can often be heard from his room from about 6am. His ideal day would encompass being allowed to wear his Bob pyjamas all day, his Bob video being played continuously, a selection of cardboard boxes to 'fix' and nothing but Bob the Builder cakes to eat.
I am not usually a very competitive mother but when I heard that Christopher's friend had her own computer games which she enjoyed playing on the PC I figured that we'd better get in on the act, not wanting to be outdone after all. The obvious choice would be a Bob game.
I went to play.com [which is where I usually order games, CDs and DVDs from]. The first Bob game I looked up was £4.99, but they were out of stock so I went for the £6.99 option, 'Bob Builds a Park'.
The system requirements for this game are:
Pentium II 233 MHz or AMD K6-2 or fully equivalent processor.
Microsoft Windows 98, ME,XP
64 MB RAM
8 speed CD-ROM drive or equivalent DVD drive
DirectX 8 compliant 16 bit sound card.
There is a website address given in case of any technical queries which is a bit of a pain if you don't have internet access. However, the game is quick and easy to install and I didn't have any technical problems at all.
'Bob Builds a Park' has ten different activities to play [but several of these games have more than one part to them]. Christopher is too young to play any of them himself but he enjoyed watching the screen and instructing. The games are not very complex and only take a few minutes for an adult to play but I think that a child up to the age of about six or seven would get a lot of use out of it.
The first screen which you see is a park view with several logs, You click on a log and write your name and choose a tool as your symbol. All your personal games are then saved in the same place so several children could save their games separately.
The ten activities include:
Bob's Park Planner - creating park designs adding ponds, bandstands and flowers.
Skateboard Spud - Help Bob to fix the broken skakeboard track and then get Spud to perform tricks and stunts.
Bob's Crazy Golf - Use Muck to go round a maze collecting crates for the crazy golf course then help Bob to play a game of golf.
Farmer Pickles' Pet Corner - Help Farmer Pickles entice the escaped animals back into their homes.
Lofty's Squirrel Run - Help Lofty to build a run so that the squirrels can get to their nuts.
Mr Ellis' Dinosaur Discovery - Choose to build up to three dinosaurs with Bob and Mr Ellis.
Several of the games have different levels of difficulty which makes them more interesting for older children.
Each game is explained before you begin and there is a help button if you get into difficulties.
My favourite was Mr Ellis' Dinosaur Discovery as you learn about the dinosaurs not only whilst you build them but also in a talk which Mr Ellis gives about them.
Christopher's favourite was Farmer Pickles' Pet Corner, which was the only one he wanted to do completely by himself, I didn't get a look in.
Once you have completed all the games you can then see the firework display [which you choose the fireworks for yourself].
It is a game which will only appeal to very young children, which is a shame as they can't actually play it by themselves. I can't imagine a child over the age of about 5 being very interested in this game.
The only problem with this computer game as far as I can see is rather a personal one to Christopher - a severe lack of tools! The only hammers which we found in the whole thing are when Bob is fixing the skateboard ramp and when you choose your symbol at the beginning [I had to keep on returning to this to keep Christopher happy]. Disgraceful! Bob without his drill is like the Pope without his pointy hat as far as we are concerned and we are not happy!
Join Bob and his friends in 11 activities that include Bubble Trouble, Where's Pilchard, Hedgehog Rescue, and Wendy's Birthday. Along the way, don't forget to stop by the office and get your assignment from Wendy Featuring voices, music and characters from Bob the Builder's hit TV show, kids of all ages will be saying, Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!