This review is brought to you today by the letter G. So what words start with the letter G?
G is the first letter in the word "generations." Sesame Street's appeal stretches across the decades thanks to the show's seemingly endless well of charm, wholesomeness, appealing characters, and goofy humor. Once Upon a Monster taps into all of what makes the show an enduring success. Its Kinect-based gameplay is simple but endearing, and its activities are extremely well geared towards entertaining young children. It's not quite a "great for kids of all ages" game--the very young will find some of it too complex, while young-at-heart adults will find it a little too simplistic--but for preschoolers and their parents or caregivers, it's a great way to enjoy some quality interaction with some of Sesame Street's most beloved characters.
Looks like it's time for a game of 'Where's Oscar?'
G is for Grover. The blue-haired muppet who has long been a series regular makes a guest appearance in Once Upon a Monster, but it's really Cookie Monster and Elmo's show. The colorful pair are the anchors in this adventure, which takes place away from Sesame Street itself. All of the action happens inside a storybook, with both Cookie Monster and Elmo interacting with the various monsters within the book. You get to control Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, and the new monsters at different stages as you progress through the six included stories. Each story is made up of a few different activities or chapters, but unfortunately, you need to play through the earlier ones to unlock the later ones. That means you won't be able to initially skip past any stories or activities you or your little ones may find unappealing, but once you've unlocked all the chapters, you can play them in any order you wish.
G is, of course, the first letter in the word "game," and a broad range of gameplay activities are included. You perform actions such as mimicking a monster's dance moves, flapping your arms while pretending to be a flying bee, beating a virtual drum in time to music, and much more. There's a bit of repetition, however--there's a dance section in each book, for example, and the "dress up a monster" activity happens several times--but the majority of activities last only a few minutes each, so they never become grating. Very young children, however, may not fully understand all of the games, as several of them require some basic knowledge of colors. But if your child knows red from green, they should have no problems, as that's about as complex as the activities get.