Didi & Ditto Kindergarten

Reviewed by: Lianne Reitter (with contributions from Christa & David Reitter), September 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Kutoka Interactive, go to the web site
Requires: Windows - Pentium II/300MHz or faster, Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP; 128MB RAM, video and sound, DirectX; Mac - OS 9.x or OS X, G3/300MHz or faster, 128MB RAM, video and sound
MSRP: $29.95

Here’s one for the little kids, and who better to help me play than my 3 year old niece Christa and my 6 year old nephew David. Didi & Ditto are two beavers, brother and sister. While playing a game of cabbage tennis, one of them is chased down and caught by Zolt the Wolf. Now Zolt is really a vegetarian and if given a choice, would rather eat a bushel of fruits and veggies than a purple beaver. It was our job to travel the land, visit each inhabitant and play their games to win enough food to satisfy the hungry Zolt and free our imprisoned sibling.

Our first challenge was to decide which character to play as. Christa wanted us to play as Didi, the girl beaver and David wanted us to play as Ditto, the boy beaver. I won't bore you with how we decided, lets just say we played it twice.

Our quest brought on many challenges as we traveled to the different parts of Didi and Ditto’s world. There was a bubble blowing turtle that had us exercising our ability to differentiate shapes, and a busy beetle needed our help sorting mushrooms by size and number. Spelling was a challenge met with several wacky characters and games. The bee was a bit of a grump but he was still a big help in finding the right letter to complete the required word. This particular challenge had a great payoff with a turbulent roller coaster ride down the side of the mountain. Other spelling challenges were met by bursting balloons with the required letters on them and a couple of games elicited our ability to match words with their pictures. Number games were well represented. Gathering bees in required groups and catching falling chicken eggs kept us busy with numbers and laughing at the same time.

It’s the laughter that makes this game really work. It’s one thing to make a counting or spelling game, it’s another thing altogether to get your kids to want to take on the challenge. There is humor throughout this game, from the kooky characters hosting each challenge to those that are just hanging out or hiding behind a rock or flower waiting for you to click its discovery. There is a mosquito that tells jokes and a flock of chickens determined to learn how to fly. A big blue bear hides in the most unlikely of places and each screen offers a half dozen or more clickable surprises. There is respite in this game too with a coloring game—no lesson, just fun filling in the pictures with color—and a match-the-musical-note game which has you mimicking the computers moves in hammering tubular bells.

The game is rated for kids between the ages of 4 and 6 and with three difficulty levels it meets the requirements well. We played the easiest level to allow Christa to keep up and she did. Christa really loved the egg catching game, and took over the mouse when ever David wasn't looking to steer the game back to his favorites. David enjoyed every part of the game and took great pride in our ability to complete the tasks given and win our prize.

Didi & Ditto Kindergarten is a game by Kutoka Kids and you may already be familiar with their award winning Mia Language Learning software. Kutoka is a great company delivering several great kids educational titles and this latest effort does not disappoint. We ran Didi & Ditto Kindergarten on an aging Pentium II/333 laptop and it worked like a charm, so don't worry, that old Pentium you have now decided is the “kids computer” should do just fine. Highly recommended.

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