DescriptionThis is an adventure/puzzle game intended for 5 - 7 year-olds, following on the heels of Kutoka's earlier Didi and Ditto: Kindergarten.
After you sign in on the first page and choose a difficulty level (1, 2, or 3 bugs, for easy, medium, or hard), you are transported to a countryside scene where you listen to short setup story about how the Wolf King has taken over Jako’s Valley and placed his purple lieutenants in various places around the map. Didi and Ditto, 2 brave little beavers, decide to put a stop to his rule, and make a bet with him that beavers are smarter than wolves. The king agrees that if one beaver can outsmart all his lieutenants and win all the flags and royal medallions from them, he and his minions will leave the valley forever.
You have agreed that only one beaver will make the attempt, and you must choose which – Didi, the girl, or Ditto the boy – and then click on a map of the Valley to travel to the area of your choice. After each puzzle, you return to the map to pick your next place to explore.
Each area of the map holds two puzzles (16 in all) – one to win a flag, and one to win a medallion, both of which you will place in your backpack. The pack stays conveniently off-screen until you run your mouse over the bottom of the picture; then it pops up along with a flower that will exit, and a leaf that will take you back to the map.
In order to win a flag, you must help a friendly animal out of a tight spot; the puzzles vary from helping to decide on measuring tools/units, to fetching a teddy bear from a mine maze while you block a couple of frogs from the exit. The medallion puzzles entail besting a wolf lieutenant at a game of wits, ranging from selecting letters and punctuation from a typing table to match a short sentence, to finding shapes on a table by following directions (right, left, between, etc.), and than arranging them into a tangram shape. Each puzzle is preceded by a clear explanation and a little tutorial; even so, some of the puzzles may be beyond the capabilities of the first graders the game aims at. In particular, there is one puzzle that involves using the arrow keys in a mine to drop rocks into moving carts…this was not simple! Another puzzle requires you to catch things falling down a waterfall, according to directions specifying “living” or “non-living” – it was fairly difficult to identify the items and move quickly enough to catch them all. Many first-graders may find themselves frustrated, although you can return to any puzzle at any time to complete it.
This game is designed to reinforce skills the child is learning in school; simple addition, measuring, shapes, letters and reading, punctuation, rhyming, classifying and sorting, and reading maps, among many others. There are also some creativity pages that you can access - after solving a puzzle involving color mixing you are able to paint your own picture, for instance. After helping a group of turtles practice their music, you are able to select a drumbeat and click on the turtles to make music of your own which can be recorded and played back. At any time you can visit the Activity menu, where you can directly access the educational mini-games; there are four tabs, for Math, Reading, Science, and Creativity. There are also a number of mini animations starring friends of Didi and Ditto that you can watch during the game by clicking on different parts of scenery. In addition, this game includes a Teacher Mode, enabling a teacher or parent to track the child's progress.
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