At a car boot some weeks ago I came across a box full of small toys and the man on the stall said everything was just fifty pence. Inside the box I found two Vtech Vsmile games and so I decided to buy them though I did think there was a strong possibility they wouldn't work! As soon as we got them home my daughter wanted to play on them straight away and thankfully they worked!
Vtech Vsmile games come packaged in a sealed plastic case which does need to be cut open. This is one thing I really don't like about the games as there is only a limited space in the console to store the games and once that is full (as ours now is) you will need some other form of storage for the games. On the cover of the packaging you will see two of the cars from the Disney film along with the title "Rev it up in Radiator Springs". It states on the cover that playing this game teaches letters, vocabulary, mathematics, logic, observation, classification and map skills.
The game I am reviewing today is Disney Cars which is suitable for children aged 4-6. To play the game you simply slot the cartridge into the machine, just as you would in an old style console such as a SNES. When the game comes on, it gives you the option of which player and which game you would like to play. There are two zones to the game, learning adventure and learning zone which gives a good range of games and activities.
This is a game where your car is driving down the road looking for Mack, and you have to avoid all the vehicles, collect the checkered flags and oil cans. When you crash you hear a big "OUCH"! and you will lose one of your lives. The cars and wagons talk to eachother to give a bit of interaction for the child. At times it will tell you to remember the picture on a wagon and then you will approach three wagons and you have to drive behind the one with the picture you were asked to remember and press the big button to show you have got the correct one. This gives the child a challenge of remembering the picture and then steering their car to the correct wagon! At the end of the game you will find your total score and hear a bit of dialogue beteween the cars. I do think this is a really long and repetitive game which does get rather irritating after a short time and it seems like it will never end. My daughter does get a little frustrated when playing this as many times you think you have found Mack and then it just carries on!
Neon magic - this game is where you have to connect all the wires to light up the neon sign (kind of like the old style pipe game). This is a little tricky and is definately one for the older end of the age range in my opinion.
Junkyard fun - In this game you will find two large circles each with a coloured sign and you have to match the junkyard items to the correct circle. Using the big button to pick up and drop the items. By playing this game the children learn to match colours and junk items, and this is one of the easier games on the cartridge and my daughter at three years can manage this one with some ease.
Pitstop frenzy - In this game you are required to use your crew to catch four tyres - you are a little forklift truck and have to chase the tyres around to catch them and press the big button to catch them. Each tyre is numbered and it corresponds to the number on the car. At the top of the screen it tells you to get either odd or even numbered tyres. I think this game is good for counting and matching the numbers to the correct tyre, and again my daughter is able to play this game with limited difficulty.
Random road signs - this is a game of pairs. You will find a range of road signs facing the wrong way and you have to find the pairs. The idea is to match the shapes and pictures.
***At the end of each game it gives you points***
OPTIONS - music on/off, chances normal/unlimited
CAR GALLERY - you can check out the cars in the gallery and it tells you about them such as Mater "Mater may be a little rusty but he has the quickest tow cable in Carburetor county and is always the first to lend a helping hand."
We have had this game a few weeks now, and though my daughter does enjoy playing on it at times it is not one of her favourite games and I think this is mainly due to the fact she doesn't enjoy the film Cars so has little interest in the characters featured. As with all the Vsmile games the controls are easy to use with the large joystick. Moving the cars around is simple and the big button is used in many of the games to select items that are needed.
The game is very educational but it is really made fun throughout the different activities, and as is stated on the box it covers core curriculum for young learners. I wouldn't necessarily say my daughter has learnt a great deal by playing this game, certainly not as much as she has with playing other games, but her skills with controls and matching have improved by playing this game.
I think this is a good game, and would think that any Cars fan would enjoy playing it but it just isn't the right game for my daughter. I would recommend the game as there is a good range of learning activities on there, but I am glad that I managed to get it for such a bargain as paying full price would have been a shame when it isn't really played very much. You can find Vtech Vsmile Disney Cars on Amazon for £17.99.
Thank you for reading my review