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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Come On In To Ooka Island!

We got a chance to review something called Ooka Island.  S-Girl and A-man were so excited to have a review item that was just for them.

(I didn't even get sick of this Reggae-type theme song.....and I heard it a lot!)
The basic premise of Ooka Island is that it is an adventure type game for kids, ages Pre-K through 2nd grade, that are learning to read.  There is a whole back story that explains why the Elves that live on Ooka Island need your children to help teach them how to read and rescue them from the forest by the villianous "Flignorance".  Here is a quick version of the story line of Ooka Island.

(This is Auntie Kay and Zobot.)

You cycle through a series of games and work to save Ooka Elves and get books for their library shelves.  here is 20 minutes of planned play, so you cannot choose which games you want to play.  After you finish that 20 minutes, you are allowed 8 minutes of free play.

Personally, I thought this was great, because my kids have a tendency to play only the games they know really well and don't do the more challenging ones.  This way, they have to cycle through all the games....even if they are hard.

The games are things like:

Alphabet Mountain - In this one, you rock climb up the mountain following the ABCs....then to get down the mountain, you ride on a skateboard.

The Cave of Sounds - In this one, you are riding underground, in a sort of mining cart.  You listen for Zobot to say the correct sound (oo......m......s.....) and when you hear it, you click to open the gates for you to ride through.  I have to say, I did get a little tired of Zobot's robotic voice repeating the sounds over and over again......oo.....oo.....mmmm.....mmmm.....but, I guess that is what the volume control is for!

Clumsy Wacky Moving Company - In this one, you have to help the moving company save their items from going over a waterfall, by listening for the right sound and clicking on that item.

Part of their goal is to unlock books for the Popcorn Library to help the Ooka Elves learn how to read.  There are 85 total books to unlock.  A-man and S-girl have been playing this for about a month now and have about 15 books unlocked. 

The whole idea behind the game is for the kids to be engaged in these games without even realizing that they are learning to read and de-code the sounds that make up words. 

That has definitely worked with my two....although, when I say no to computer time, they have learned to use the argument, "But, it's Ooka Island, mom!"  "It's school!"  "But, I am learning stuff!"  So, I guess they have figured out that they are learning....and still don't care!

Sometimes their arguments have been used with success, other times not.  But, I have to admit it is a little harder for me to say no when they want to spend time on Ooka Island than it is for other computer games.

Ooka Island activities are also aligned with common core standards.  Go take a look here to see what that means. 

This is a game you need to download onto your computer before you you need to have plenty of space (at least 3GB on your hard drive).  For specific requirements to make sure your system is compatible, click here.    It does take quite a while to download, and there were a few minor glitches when we first got the game up and running, but, now, everything is working fine. 

Here are the prices....they have different prices for schools too.

Right now, as part of my review, you can get a discount of 30% off....just use the promo code below:

A-man and S-girl had a blast with Ooka Island.  A-man who already reads, had a much easier time with the games than S-girl who is just learning to put letters and sounds together, but they both had fun and asked to play.

Honestly, even V-girl who is just 2, loved to sit and watch them play and she would even ask to play "Ooka I-la"  She isn't quite ready to be a hero for the Ooka Elves......yet.

See what other TOS crew members thought of Ooka Island.

We received a free download copy of Ooka Island Adventures for free, in exchange for an honest review of the program.