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In Mia's Reading Adventure: The Bugaboo Bugs, Mia goes on an adventure to stop the Bugaboo Bugs from making too much noise in her house, so that the 'Big Feet' won't hear them and exterminate them. If the Big Feet try to get rid of the Bugaboos, they might also discover Mia, her family, and the other mice living in the house.
The Bugaboo Bugs is for children ages 5-9 who are working on their reading and language skills. The user can choose to go on a full adventure with Mia or focus on individual activities at 4 different skill levels. During the full adventure, Mia encounters characters who give her quests and missions to accomplish, and include a variety of different educational games. Mia must successfully finish each task before she can advance to the next one. The user controls where Mia goes, who she talks to, and what clues she uses to help her figure out where to go next. During the adventure, Mia must go back to other characters for help and clues on where to go.
The Bugaboo Bugs exercises many different language skills depending on the level the user chooses. The skills include word to image association, finishing words by filling in missing letters/letter groups, rhyming, punctuation, identifying verb tense and function, plural/singular words, capital and lowercase letters, matching parts of words, letter sounds identification, reading comprehension, sentence construction, spelling, word recognition, alphabetical order, and following oral and written instructions. These are all reviewed and drilled through the several activities offered on the activity page and throughout the adventure in a fun and exciting way. Doing the activities page is more educational, but the same activities are integrated throughout the adventure.
SuperKids' reviewer found the program to be suitable for beginning readers and on the younger side of the stated age range: 5-9. They thought that the activities are fairly easy for a typical 9-year-old, even on the expert level. The level of difficulty can be manually adjusted at the start of the full adventure, and for each activity chosen.
The Bugaboo Bugs is appropriate for the targeted age level, however, it may be more attractive to the younger end of the age group. The characters are lovable and funny, there are a lot of background details, and new objects and tasks pop up frequently making the program appealing, but the tasks are simple. To make the program more desirable for the older kids, it might be better to make different adventures for the different difficulty levels instead of having the same adventure while just changing the difficulty of the activities. Parents and teachers will like the product, and it would work well in a computer lab environment, because it covers a large range of different language skills, and it offers a fun way to practice these skills.
Bugaboo Bugs is easy to install. Just insert the disc, click install, and when all of the files are copied, double-click the Mia Reading icon on the desktop. It took about 30 minutes to copy all of the files on our reviewer's computer, however, before the successful installation, our reviewer had difficulties because there was not enough disk space on the computer. Our reviewer fixed the problem by freeing up space, and then repeating the installation process.
The program navigation is straightforward and organized, however if the user encounters a problem, it comes with a digital Manual to walk the user through the steps. Children using this program for the first time may need assistance with the installation process, but most children will be able to use the program on their own.
The Bugaboo Bugs is most appropriate for children who are learning how to read and need to work on their basic language skills. Most 9-year-olds may be too advanced, and some 5-year-olds may not be ready to use this product. It is good for children in between those ages.
PC: Windows XP or Vista or later, Pentium III 1GHz or faster cpu, 1.6 GB hard drive space, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9 compatible sound and video, DVD 4X drive .return to top of page
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