Fatty Bear must help the other toys prepare a surprise party for Kayla. He must find the ingredients for a cake and then make it, find the missing letters for the happy birthday sign and blow up some balloons among other things. The game also includes bowling and piano minigames.
This is an adventure game designed for children aged 3-8 that uses an enhanced version of the SCUMM engine originally developed for Maniac Mansion by Ron Gilbert who is Project Leader, Producer, Co-Designer and one of the interpreter programmers for this title.
Fatty Bear is one of those cute little games made specially for kids. And you know what? It's one of those GOOD cute little games made specially for kids, too!
The music isn't particularly notable, but it's nice, cute and good for kids. Voice-overs are just right for the characters and not difficult to hear, either.
Graphics are cartoonish, similarily nice and cute. The game does not contain any violence.
Gameplay is - you guessed it - nice and cute. There are a few "puzzles", of course, but nothing kids can't handle: finding cake ingredients, getting a key away from a mouse etc.Adventure veterans can finish the game in under half an hour, but finishing isn't really the point here.
The game includes oodles of fun for curious kids - there isn't a scene where there aren't at least a few gadgets that do weird things after clicking, we've got a bowling mini-game, the piano plays melodies (ten pre-made and kids can store up to ten more they've composed by themselves), decorating the cake is a nice opportunity to use the decorations to make scenes, and then there is the room in the attic where you can experiment with dressing Fatty up into various outfits.
Finally, there is a lot of semi-educational potential for kids. Letters, musical notes, basic maths - you name it. Not to mention that it's also a good way to teach kids some basic English.
Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise is a good game - an ideal way to occupy visiting brats and thus protect your fragile/expensive/irreplaceable belongings from destruction and general chaos that bored kids seem to be very adept at producing.
Just watch out: once a kid gets occupied with this game, you might find removing them from the front of your computer very difficult, if not impossible.
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