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I bought this game for my oldest son (5), and he really loved it before moving on to Wii and PS3. He does still like it though and will occasionally come back and play again, but has everything down by memory now.
My 2 year old son absolutely loves this though, and most evenings will climb up into my lap for a game of Putt Putt before story time. He is of course too young to have very good control of the mouse ( he only turned two in August), but he can have fun clicking away at the scenery to see what pops up, and if I help to move the cursor, he can click the button for various activities, as well as telling me which item to use to rescue the animals.
The object of the game is to help the little car Putt Putt to rescue all of the baby animals before the Cartown Zoo opens. To rescue each animal he will need to find the right item, such as a rope to rescue the baby lion, or solve a minor puzzle. There are also a couple of mini games, hide and seek animals and an ice hockey game, as well as a paint shed where you can change the colour of your car. Each screen also has all sorts of places to click to see animals pop out or do silly things. The characters are very cute and engaging, and there are silly songs and plenty of cute animations as well.
The game is recommended for ages 3-8, but I would say 2-6 would be better. Of course very young children will need help, but most 4 year olds could play this alone. I think an older child of 7 or 8 might have fun playing this once or twice, but as there is no variety in the game play, I would not expect a child of this age to get any replay value from it, and an older child could beat the whole game easily at one sitting. This game takes us about 30 minutes to play from start to finish, but of course we already know where the items are. As mentioned, my 5 year old still plays this, but rarely.
The game is listed as compatible with Windows 2000, ME, and XP, but I am playing it on Vista and it was originally made for Windows 95 or 3.11.
As this is an older game, a new copy will be rare and expensive, but a used copy can be bought from Amazon for under £5 and can often be found even cheaper on ebay.
I am sure my youngest would give this 5 stars if he understood rating and I will give it the same if bought for a very young child. It is perfect to introduce a child to the pc. It would also be nice for a three or four year old to play, but as the children get older it is apt to be too easy for continued game play.