|I loved the movie. I loved the action
game. I wanted to love this game, but I was disappointed with this one. Im
talking about Disneys Tarzan Activity Center, one of the new titles
under the Disney Interactives Games brand aimed at ages 4 to 8.
The CD-ROM offers a variety of gameplay formats for children to choose from. Included are three arcade-style games. In Tarzans Jungle Tumble, children navigate Tarzan around the screen to help him knock furniture, elephants, barrels, and boxes off platforms as they keep an eye out for cheetahs and gorillas that will try to hamper their efforts. Fetch-the-Sketch highlights the baby baboon who has stolen Janes sketches and hidden them among the vines. Here, children must match the sketches until the sketchbook is once again filled. The last arcade game is Terk and Tantors Power Lunch. The object of this game is to clear the screen by aiming a bouncing ball from the animal to the food they would eat. This is similar to the old Breakout! arcade game.
Other activities include Tarzans Sing and Swing, a karaoke style format where children can sing along with the three popular songs from the movie, Son of Man, Strangers Like Me and Two Worlds. Another choice is the Jungle Journal. This is set up as a story maker format where children can choose backgrounds and add stamped characters to their scenes. Children can also write messages in secret code and attach them to email files to send to friends. Finally, there is the Trash the Camp Music Maker. Four of Tarzans ape friends are here and by handing them items found on the screen, children can play and record their own musical sounds.
I have to admit that I was expecting more since the game retails at $29.95. (The same as the fantastic action game!) The graphics are simple two-dimensional animations of the movie characters. In the Jungle Journal the stamps are pitifulIn fact my 6 year old even mentioned that "Tarzan looks weird!" Writing codes was fun but pretty complicated for the younger audiences.
The arcade games were just o.k. I was really frustrated with Tarzans Jungle Tumble. I played for hours before I was able to complete the first level. (It has three levels with eighteen sub-levels). My 6-year-old was getting pretty upset by the time I took over.
I realize that this game was not promoted as educational, but as a teacher I am always looking for possible learning experiences in the games I purchase. Tarzans Activity Center falls short here too. Although the Fetch the Sketch does offer an opportunity for children to learn facts about various animals, there were many missed opportunities that would have been simple to add. The most glaring was in Tarzans Sing and Swing. By simply highlighting the words to the songs as they are played nonreaders could follow along.
So, Im afraid the game was a disappointment. If priced lower (possibly $19.95) I wouldnt have expected so much. Tarzans Activity Center had lots of potential but fell short.