Hoyle Kid’s Games is a wonderful compilation of 15 of the most popular children’s games of all time. Included are Checkers, Go Fish, Tic Tac Toe, Snakes and Ladders, Hangman, Old Maid, War, and Chinese Checkers. There are also generic versions of Battleship, Tetris and Concentration. The contents screen has the appearance of a child’s room. Each game is represented by an appropriate symbol. War, for example, is represented by a toy tank on the bookshelf, and Bumper Cars is represented by a little car on the floor.
Most of the games are beautifully rendered in full color graphics. Checkers, for instance, can be played traditionally or in 3D or with frogs with a choice of with or without flies. In Tic Tac Toe you play against a gold fish in the fog on the side of his bowl. When you click you make an "X" then he comes along and forms his mouth into an "O" and makes his mark. It’s details like this that make this more than just the average game compilation.
More than the graphic touches is the time spent to make the games playable for children. Each game screen has a blue genie at the bottom. He will remind you if you try and click and it’s not your turn. You can click on a scroll and get the rules of the game read to you by the genie. If a child isn’t sure what move to make, he or she can click on buttons called What Now, for a little help, or Show Me Where, for more help or Show Me How, for the most help. All of the help features are easy to use and always available. You can even put the genie away if you don’t want his help. Click on him and he’ll go back into his lamp, but the lamp will shake if there is something he really wants to tell you. To get him back all you have to do is click on his lamp.
A happy cast of characters some cartoon humans; some animals and one alien are all along to fill in as partners for multi-player games like Go Fish and Old Maid. Each character has its own personality and makes comments appropriate to that personality. If a child prefers some characters over others he or she can make selections in the scrapbook and then only selected characters will appear to play with.
Some of the games like Hangman and Speedy Racer can be adjusted for difficulty. These games on their most difficult levels are fun and challenging even for adults. Actually, Speedy Racer set at the most difficult level is a challenge for anyone’s typing skills.
Basically, this is a great set of games to have. They are well chosen and well presented and will provide many hours of playtime. This is a must have for rainy days, sick days or in the car on a laptop for long trips. Anyone who likes games will enjoy this collection. It gets 5 out of 5 GiN Gems for being so well done.
Developers: Sierra Entertainment
Platforms: Mac, PC