If you can forgive some restrictions brought about by the age of the product, then Winnie The Pooh Pre-School is a good, rounded package of activities that kept our four-year-old test subject happily entertained for a few hours.
Let’s deal with the technicals first, though. Given that the product was originally released in full price clothing the best part of ten years ago, some limitations of its age are very much in place. The obvious one is the screen size. No matter what size monitor you have, Winnie The Pooh steadfastly runs in a relatively small activity window with a big black rectangle surrounding it.
The pay-off is the low footprint of the product, which, even on a more modest machine, we found to be very spritely. It didn’t take long to get started, either, at which point the user is invited to enter their name. If it’s a name the program recognises then you can continue a previous adventure.
The idea is that it’s apparently Eeyore’s birthday, and Pooh must travel around to various characters’ abodes to tackle an activity and bring together everything needed for his party. This means that you arrive at an overview screen and click on whichever character you choose to visit and undertake an activity, choosing between three levels of difficulty.
The activities are interestingly diverse. For instance, there’s an alphabet soup, where the appropriate letters have to be put into the boiling pot. There’s also a simple yet effective colouring-in task (which our young tester particularly enjoyed), a sorting out images exercise (one that was rejected quicker than most) and a number recognition activity wrapped around the labelling of jars. This one went down well, too.
Across these and the other activities found within the game, Winnie The Pooh Pre-School – while not particularly UK-centric in feel – remains an enjoyable piece of educational software, and a keenly priced one. The animated interludes with Pooh and his friends were certainly welcome and, while the storyline is obvious, it does glue everything together well and brings in a welcome succession of characters.
It’s a shame about the size of the viewing window, but with a succession of goodies to print out if required, and useful progress reports, you’re unlikely to feel short-changed from a fiver.
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