When The Phantom Menace. However, taking this program for what it is (an introduction to the wonders of computing for young children), there couldn't be a better star. Full of ways both to teach and entertain, Jar Jar's Journey serves its purpose for its audience without being a total bore to parents. In fact, parents who enjoy the The Phantom Menace's first half (up to Anakin Skywalker's departure from Tatooine) through 14 animated pages. The scene portrayed on each page is inactive until the cursor is moved to where it lights up, usually on a character or some sort of device. This, of course, is meant to familiarize children with the concept of using the mouse and when to click. Their reward ranges from a simple statement to a downright hilarious action. My personal favorite: a clicked-on Battle Droid pulls out a paddleball set and says in his robotic voice, "Oh, I thought you wanted a paddle droid."
Many of the items/people can be clicked on numerous times with different results. For example, click on Fode & Beed (the body-sharing Podracing announcers) to hear one of several knock-knock jokes. Also, Watto eventually takes offense to numerous clicks by saying, "Enough already! I don't click on you. Why you click on me?" The only downside to this feature is that there's no real way to tell what can be clicked on more than once, meaning repetition is nearly inevitable.
The bottom of the screen features the words spoken by the characters and lights them up so that a child can more easily read along. I'm not sure how effective this is, however, as the character usually speaks at a rate faster than typical novice readers can interpret the words. On the other hand, the words stay at the bottom, making it easier for them to read off of the screen afterward by repeating what has been said.
Also available after the character has recited the words are clickable words, some of which yield synonyms (e.g., "escaped" changes to "left," then "fled") and others an entertaining song about the word, such as "planets," "bongo," "money" or "Naboo." The songs usually resemble something you've heard before, like "If You're Happy and You Know it" or a drill team's "Sound Off." Sometimes they're serious and a great teaching aid, while others mean solely to entertain.
In addition to the book, there are also six games which can be accessed via the story or separately altogether. There's nothing groundbreaking here, as all of them have been presented elsewhere in some other form. However, adding the
Graphics: All graphics are beautifully rendered cartoons similar in style to the 1980s Droids and
Sound: Everything is clear and precise, with
Enjoyment: Kids will love playing these games involving their favorite characters from Star Wars will enjoy sharing the experience with them.
Replay Value: While the story is somewhat short, many of the games have infinite replayability to a young person.
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