Nemo, the darling clown fish from the award-winning film Finding Nemo, is an international hit and Disney capitalizes on the that hero worship in a new piece of software for kids ages 2-to-5 called Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo.
In a most positive way this software for preschoolers gently teaches them about colors, shapes, recognizing patterns, identifying letters, counting and more. Nemo’s class is going on a scavenger hunt and Dory, his forgetful friend, comes along as a substitute chaperone for his dad. Nemo and Dory swim along enjoying the ocean bottom and even end up in the harbor of Sydney, Australia on their quest. At each of these stop-offs kids play games (there are 4 in all) and they can click on various objects to learn fish facts and discover mini-animations.
There are three levels of difficulty to the games and parents of 2- to-3 year olds will appreciate the “Easy Play” option that offers simpler versions of all the games. The games include counting colored eels that pop up from under the sand and matching their numbers to a grid drawn in the sand. Kids also set Nemo up to bowl by clicking on the shell with the requested alphabet letter. Another game involves counting objects related to sea creatures and birds. The last, and the favorite of my tester, was hopping from turtle to turtle as they glide along the jet stream current while matching patterns on their back
Once the scavenger hunt is completed, kids stop off at a special undersea sticker area. There they can make pictures on-screen using fish, plant and sea animal stickers earned during the scavenger hunt.
As we looked at this game I could not help but notice that the animation is not up to the usual Disney standards. The colors seem a bit more subdued and there was less detail in the underwater scenes. Perhaps this is to keep things a bit sparse and less distracting for younger players. This is a good piece of software for youngest users as there are plenty of opportunities to explore and learn to use the mouse and overall the software is best suited to the younger ages it is recommended for. For older users, boredom may set in rather quickly. The scavenger hunt can only be repeated three times with new things to find and, while the games are fun as part of the scavenger hunt, I doubt most kids would return to them independently although that is possible from the Main Menu. There just isn’t enough here to keep 4 and 5 year olds busy here for very long. There just must be more for a fish to do in the sea.
Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo