Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise is a treat for kids, with lots of things to do and see as Fatty Bear gets ready for Kayla's birthday party. Players start out with a simple mission: Get together the ingredients and items necessary for Fatty Bear to make his birthday cake.
Exploring in the kitchen alone isn't going to be enough, for some of the items are surprisingly well hidden in places you wouldn't expect. In addition, some of the places you will need to enter can only be accessed either from surprising areas or by using an item. For instance, to enter the attic, you need the key. But to get the key, you have to give the mouse something it wants.
This game, although it is supposed to be for very young children, can be too complicated for them, especially when it comes to finding some of the more difficult items, such as the sugar or the letters the puppy ran off with.
Instead, kids will find more fun in exploring the house, clicking on objects to see the animations. Just about every object in the house is clickable, and all of the animations are fun for children to watch.
There are also two games kids can play over and over again. The first is bowling, located in the backyard. Players click on the screen as Fatty Bear moves the ball from side to side. The click makes him release the ball, and the score is tabulated at the bottom of the screen. Players can bowl as many games as they wish.
Inside, players can listen to music at the piano, or compose their own selections on the blank pages, then hear them played back.
This is a fun game, but younger players will find it extremely challenging and may need an adult's help to complete it.
Graphics: Very nice and smooth.
Sound: A bit tinny in some places, otherwise fine.
Enjoyment: Difficult play may impede enjoyment.
Replay Value: Games within the game can be played over and over and over again.
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.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
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Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Mixed-Up Mother Goose Deluxe, EcoQuest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest, Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, Putt-Putt Travels Through Time
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