Great Adventures by Fisher-Price: Castle thrusts players into the body of McDuff, a valiant man who has been alerted to the castle's overthrow by the King's Jester. McDuff agrees to find King McBeard's Good Knights so they can help free the king. The Jester gives McDuff the royal seal (an actual, barking seal) so that the knights will help him.
Players start the game in the village square. From there, they can choose to head for the tournament, enter McFadden's Hotel, enter the armory or go to the Marketplace.
In McFadden's Hotel, players must match stones to the missing ones above the fireplace. They must click on various objects to find the stones, then put them in the correct places in the pattern. If they do so, the knight Sir Mount will appear. Sir Mount's specialty is climbing. After specific knights are found, they go into the armory to wait until the player finishes searching.
At the Marketplace, players must trade for the knight El-Asto, the morphing knight. This is one of the most challenging phases where it would be good for a parent to guide the child through the exercise of trading. The player must trade something they have for something else, until they can trade for the knight. The merchants at the tents will tell the child if he or she has what they need.
From the Marketplace, the player can access the Magic Cave where Eli, the high magician, lives. He or she must then zap the same crystals as Eli in order to find the knight McWiz.
On the way to the tournament, players pass a stream and click to find where the knight Sir Cyclone is hiding. At the tournament, Sir Shield-in-Hand is chained to the cannon and is being forced to operate it. Players must hit the target twice to make it collapse and only then can they free the captive knight and head back to the square.
The last knight is in the armory, posing as the blacksmith. Sir Lift-A-Lot will only agree to help you when all of the other knights have been found. McDuff must give the correct shield halves to each knight before they can storm the castle. At the castle, players must click on the correct knights in order to drive out evil King Smudge and his Naughty Knights. Then, players must click on the correct knights to open the door to King McBeard's cell and free him.
This is an amusing and not too hard adventure for young children. However, the Marketplace section is sure to be the most trying for young children and may induce a great deal of frustration. I recommend parents play along with the children to help them out, especially in this area.
Graphics: Excellent. Each knight has a distinguishable look and powers. The flavor is a bit cartoony but no less endearing for all that.
Sound: Excellent. Each character has their own voice and McDuff sounds amazingly Scottish.
Enjoyment: Very enjoyable, save for the marketplace section, which will probably induce a bit of frustration in younger players.
Replay Value: The activities do not change, but the specifics do.
Woe to the Fisher-Price kingdom! The good King McBeard's castle was taken over by his brother, the evil King Smudge and his Naughty Knights. It is up to you to help McDuff find where the Good Knights have been hiding and convince them to help take back the castle from King Smudge. Players can choose to play a game where they will only have to rescue two of the knights to win or a full game where they must find all six knights to storm the castle. Players must solve a variety of puzzles and challenges before they can save King McBeard. And if you win, the good McDuff will be knighted and join the other Good Knights in the castle. It contains elements of early learning for children including art, creativity, critical thinking, reading comprehension, imagination and role-playing.
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