The Backyardigans is a popular computer-animated TV show on Nick Jr. Pablo the penguin, Tyrone the moose, Uniqua the pink, uh…bug …thing, and the rest of the gang play outside in their backyards and use their imaginations to go on wild adventures. Along the way they’ll sing songs, do dances, and all before snack time. Now your child can join in on The Backyardigans’ adventures on the Nintendo DS.
Play along in three different adventures: Pirates, Super heroes, and Intergalactic Garbage Collectors. Each adventure ha around half a dozen or so mini-games to play to progress in the story. These games use the touch screen, stylus, and microphone on the DS. These challenges enforce early learning skills such as color recognition, shape matching, number sequence, and size differentiating.
Young gamers will sort small, medium, and large trash and drag and drop them into their corresponding sized garbage cans. They’ll tap footprints in number order to dance a pirate jig, or scribble on the touch screen to dig up treasure. There are also remixes where you play the games all mixed up. Or try each individual game in Free Play. In Free Play, you can even make your own songs in the marching band game and play them back. Unfortunately, the game only records what notes you played, not the tempo.
Reading isn’t necessary as all the instructions have voices from the cartoon show to tell you how to play each game. And if your child makes a mistake, they just say ‘nope’ and allow your kid to keep on trying until they pick the right answer, so they won’t need any help playing. And the games saves after every mini-challenge, so you can start right back where you left off, or go to another adventure before completing the last one.
The adventures are a bit short, and they recycle a lot of the games, but kids do learn by repetition. While the DS game isn’t as entertaining as the Backyardigans TV show, nor is it as fun as playing pretend outside for real, it should hold a young Backyardigans fan’s interest for at least a little while. The DS Backyardigans game is rated E for Everyone.