Let's Explore the Airport with Buzzy is a program which on first glance seems kind of lame. Yeah, kids like planes and all that, but why would they want to learn about airports? That sounds as exciting as checking out the box factory.
This game, though, offers an incredible array of activities, screens to explore, and little touches which show why Humongous Entertainment makes some of the best software for kids. While their educational content usually isn't very high, the fun factor is always way up there. While Let's Explore the Airport isn't as instantly engaging as Putt-Putt's latest adventure, it is engrossing, and there is a lot of educational content.
The activities are fun and come in three levels of difficulty (except, of course, the picture painter), which makes them playable by a wide range of kids. My official playtester, Cooper, was enthralled with the luggage game, wherein the player must guide baggage into the correct chutes so that the people flying from San Francisco to New York won't wind up with their luggage taking a trip to the Bahamas. It's a very challenging puzzle game which is sure to stump even grown-ups. My only complaint is that some of the levels are incredibly easy, and one level in particular forces the player to wait until the luggage finds its way out of a maze of chutes on its own (the player can't direct it at that stage) so that he or she can click a bar and dump the baggage into the bin. That's it. Most of the levels, though, are quite complex.
The scavenger hunt is also fun, as the user must hunt around the airport screens (there are over 40 of them) to find a certain object or person, and the trivia area is quite informative. What Is It?, wherein the player must match a picture with a name, is the least interesting activity. Even the coloring area has a lot of screens to color and save or print.
Like other Humongous fare, the hot spots are a blast. Each of them offers multiple surprises, and they are usually delightful. For example, a superhero comes out of the front wheel door on the bottom of one plane and holds it up once the wheel retracts. In another area the ground crewmen jump up and down. There's even a squirrel who pops in and out periodically; watch for him.
Each screen also offers the chance to see what each item is, which is a lot of fun when exploring the luggage conveyor belts or looking in a plane's cockpit. Clicking on an item takes the player to an extensive glossary full of word definitions and pictures, complete with links which take the player to the definitions of the words in the definition.
Overall, this is a great, easy-to-use program which should be fun not only for kids but their parents as well.
Graphics: Great. The hot spots are fun to click, and there is a defintion of just about everything.
Sound: Well done.
Enjoyment: A lot of fun for kids and adults.
Replay Value: There's plenty to explore here with over 40 screens and five activities.
The Airport allows kids 3-8 (or any age) to explore a modern airport, with their guide Buzzy The Knowledge Bug. Kids can visit over 40 location, from hangers, to control towers, to cockpits. Items in each location can be clicked on for either amusing animations, or to ask "What is This?" which will take them directly to the encyclopedia page describing that item. The encyclopedia has more than 200 descriptions in it. It also has an index, to jump directly back to interesting items. The encyclopedia is text, but Buzzy can also read the text for young players.
In addition, the game has 5 Time To Play mini-games. The Coloring Book has 15 different pictures to color and print out. Trivia contains 100 airport-related questions with answers within the game - for pre-readers, Buzzy will read the question out loud and also provide hints. There are 3 difficulty levels for this game. In Lost Luggage, you work your way through 99 levels of conveyor belt puzzle madness, trying to get all the moving luggage to their proper destination. True detectives will like the Find It game, where the game picks 10 items within the game and you go find them. This game has 3 difficulty levels. Finally, there's What Is It? This is a picture/word matching game, with three difficulty levels and 33 pictures per level - all from the airport environment.
People who downloaded Let's Explore the Airport have also downloaded:
Let's Explore the Farm, Let's Explore the Jungle, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse, Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth
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