Kinect Sesame Street TV
Sesame Street is possibly one of the longest enduring memories for Kids of almost every age. Recently celebrating their 40th anniversary the Jim Henson creations certainly have no signs of a mid life crisis nor any desire to slow down.
Not only have we seen the resurgence of Muppet mania, with hugely successful viral videos, but we are now being treated to what hopes to be many new Sesame Street interactive TV episodes thanks to the power of the Kinect. Sesame Street has not changed much since i was a kid. There still seems to be the same set of characters, both fuzzy and human, roaming the street. They still have not lost their trademark qualities and the street, while looking a little more snazzy, still appears to be that same familiar place we ventured into back before the internet was barely accessible outside of universities and big business. One thing that has always made me laugh was the way that Linear TV would encourage kids to jump, prod, roll, climb, scream and point at the TV. While Dora the Explorer would ask kids to find the not so hidden mountain on the map, she would never know if the kids watching were pointing in the right place or up their noses. So when technology comes along like the kinect its a chance to change that mindset and start actually challenging and rewarding kids for doing the things they are supposed to.
A while back Microsoft announced the interactive TV episodes from Sesame Street and Nation Geographic. We all marvelled at the on stage demos, which looked very cool. I can categorically say this delivers the advertised experience and then some.
While i’m excited about it as a parent what is even more exciting is seeing the energy levels of kids interacting with this title. And while i’ve done a great play through myself, its actually been a case of watching my 4 year old son interact with Sesame Street. For starters its simple. It perfectly caters for the emerging digital natives many houses are seeing. Easy to navigate, beautifully laid out, simple to use and quick to understand.
So there are two ways you can get hold of Sesame Street Interactive TV. Firstly there is retail which has all the content on the disc for season one.
You can also download the free app off the xbox dashboard. I would highly recommend you do this if your still wavering on purchasing. This allows you to trial a small episode to see what its like. The downloadable app will stream each episode across the net, or if your net is a bit on the slow side you can elect to download each episode.
The game play is fairly simple. You fire up an episode and your launched into a fairly standard Sesame Street TV episode. However instead of just a Letter and Number of the day, you are also given a move of the day (jump, throw, etc). Quite quickly you are immersed in an interactive experience, with a cool kinda intro that also acts as a test to make sure your in the right general area to start playing. From here there is a number of mini clips between 3 to 7 minutes long. Some require you to stand still, some require you to point at things on the screen whole others ask you to act out the movement of the day. Possibly the highlight for most kids is a chance to enter into Elmo’s World. This is a step above the other mini games as it allows you to appear on screen inside Elmo’s house. You are then lead into interaction with different themes around beaches and planting.
From watching my 4 year old its fair to say this is his favorite Xbox game. It allows kids to nut off, learn and have fun. Elmo’s world is by far his favorite. It is amazing to watch that even though each episode is 40 minutes long the attention span is there the whole way. There are a number of non interactive mini clips that are available as part of the season pass, which also work very well.
If this is the start of Kinect interactive TV then i cannot wait to see what is around the corner, Sesame Street Interactive TV has knocked this one out of the park.