Return to the Sea is part of the Disney Princess series of games aimed at girls ages 5 and up. And this is a good game. It isn’t as sexist or simple as some of Disney’s other titles aimed at girls. There is a choice of five games or activities to play in Return to the Sea. Melody, the daughter of the ever-popular Ariel from The Little Mermaid, is the central figure in all the games.
Melody’s Daring Dive has Melody diving for gems in the ocean. Girls have a choice of three different ocean scenes and game play has 15 different levels. This is a challenging game for older children, but maybe frustrating for the younger ones.
Melody’s Melodies is an opportunity to sing along with either Ariel or Melody during one of two songs. The songs appear on the screen complete with lyrics and notes on an actual scale. Girls can record themselves singing along if there is a microphone attached to the computer. If they have email access they can attach the song to an email and send it to a friend or family member. Think of how impressed grandparents will be to get singing snippets from their grandchildren. This is fun for budding singers, but it would have been nice if there had been more songs to choose from.
Mermaid Memories is the digital equivalent of a reusable sticker book. The child can choose from dozen of sounds, backgrounds, characters, colors and patterns to design scenes of their own, complete with sound effects. Scenes can be printed after the child creates them on screen or preset scenes can be printed for the child to color with crayons.
Too Cool is a Pac-Man style game where Melody must gather pieces to free a trident and then use it to zap Morgana. The game starts out relatively easy with no obstacles besides Morgana, but each level has more and more enemies to avoid and the mazes become increasingly complex. This game has 20 different levels, and like Melody’s Daring Dive, may be frustrating for younger children.
Aquabatics is a choreography activity. The child can choose the music and the moves, as well as select the dancers, which include many of the characters from the Little Mermaid movies.
Mst girls will enjoy this CD-ROM, not only because it has all the characters from both movies, but because it has fun and challenging games and activities. Parents will like it because it is engaging non-violent fun. It gets 4 GiN Gems for nicely filling the game gap for girls.