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Alex Builds His Farm (Windows)

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3.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  piltdown_man (70593)
Written on  :  Apr 01, 2012
Rating  :  3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars
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Summary

A little less conversation, a little more action

The Good

Computers are everywhere these days so games that interest kids are, in my opinion, a good thing. This is a well drawn, well animated package of simple games with a out-doors / farming theme and they work very well. They are simple to play and would probably keep a young child occupied for quite a while.
I say it would 'probably keep a child occupied' because, unless this played by a young child who is new to this sort of thing they would, even in 1999 when this was released, have already come into contact with computer games consoles, such as Game Boy's and the like and after such thumb-twiddling excitement this would seem very, very tame.
The voice acting is good, at least it is in the English version, with everything being clearly pronounced. All the games are introduced and fully explained before the player is allowed to begin. There's also a decent soundtrack of hill-billy like music that's cheerful and upbeat.
So it looks good, sounds good and best of all it played first time with no niggling set-up problems

The Bad

The main problem I have with this game is that my virus checker flagged the setup program as a harmful virus. I'm almost sure this was a 'false positive' but it did make me think twice before installing and running the game.
Playmobil supply stickers with the game and there are man in-game references to the green ENTER key, the blue SPACE BAR, the orange TAB key, the red ESCAPE key and the purple arrow keys. It's a good idea as far as the kids are concerned but I'd want to use a spare keyboard rather than have my pride and joy customised in such a way.
I see this as a game for the very young. As a parent I would expect to sit with my kid as they played through this game, partly to help them and partly to look after my computer. This is a problem because, for me, there is too much talk and not enough action and when I played it I got bored. Alex and his dad are extremely talkative which, to be fair, is probably necessary given their target audience. However this means it took ages to play through just the first three puzzles.

The Bottom Line

This is definitely a game I would have considered for my kids. They went through a Playmobil phase so I may even have bought it and I would have regretted it. It's a well put together game, it looks and sounds good and it plays very easily but it's just not very interesting.
If the virus warning didn't put me off this game then the boredom factor would and, right or wrong, games that dad doesn't like playing don't come down from the shelf very often.