The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABCs WiiWare Review
Written by Ryan Johnson Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:00
The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABCs is a wonderful children's game, but be ready to spend more than you expect.
I got a Wii Points card from a friend for Christmas. I wanted one game, so I downloaded it. I decided the rest of the points could go to something my son could enjoy. I shopped with him and found "The Very Hungry Caterpillar ABCs." I LOVED Eric Carle's books back in the day, and figured that this educational Wii program could be very fun. It said it was targeted to his age group, so we clicked buy.
Overall, the presentation of this game is marvelous. The art is spot-on with Eric Carle's work, which is wonderfully unique. And though I find the gameplay wondrously simple, my son is highly enjoying it. We're talking core gameplay is, "press a letter to see something that starts with it" levels.
I do like that there's a parental section that keeps a core status of how your child is doing developmentally according to their lessons. I look forward to seeing my son progress in this game, and how I can help him focus on difficult parts. I also think it's odd that there isn't an official Very Hungry Caterpillar themed game. It's all Carle's work, and beautifully done, but it kind of feels like they just put his most famous book title in there for a sales point. Sure, the caterpillar's crawling around on the menu, but perhaps some game that involved him eating through letters until he made his cocoon or such? Reminds me of the "Mario is Missing" game, where you end up playing Luigi. I was happy with that personally, but people said, "Wow. A Mario game without Mario."
The one thing I do not understand is the DLC. There are two packs of DLC for this game at 700 points apiece! 700 points for a mere expansion to such a simple game seems a bit much when I can't find any information outside of descriptors like, "vocabulary pack." But my real problem comes in presentation. For example, there's a mode where you stamp pictures onto a scene. There's three options...two are greyed out. You may only use one. The other two are DLC. Understandable to me, but to my four-year old, he just gets upset, and asks me when we can unlock those? So I will probably end up going out and getting a Wii Points card just to buy these expansions. I wouldn't have had a problem, and probably done it anyways, if the options were subtly hidden for parents to see, rather than blatantly on the main menu for the child to want.
Again, I really think this game is fun for the little ones, and recommend it. Just warning you to be prepared to pay more than the starting price for it.