You would think after 42 seasons, the creative minds behind Sesame Street would run out of ways to educate and entertain kids.
Sesame Workshop has teamed up with Microsoft to create Kinect Sesame Street TV — one of the most innovative children’s video games we’ve seen in a while. With the help of the Microsoft Kinect sensor, it puts kids (and adults) into the game, letting them engage and interact with their favorite characters.
We were immediately impressed with the way the game offers simple instructions to help kids set up their position in front of the Kinect. Cooper, a new furry character on Sesame Street, created digitally just for this season, introduces himself and guides the user as they place themselves in front of a mirror. This is really helpful because kids have a natural tendency to creep closer to the TV as they play and talk to the characters.
And kids will play with them! There are eight interactive games that take kids through everything you would expect from a Sesame Street title. Elmo offers instructions on how to play with him and Paul Ball, another new character.
The characters introduce words; concepts like over and under, numbers, letters, and free play. But this play gets kids up and off the couch.
Our favorite game is playing catch with Grover. Typical Grover, he’s made a mess, dropped all his coconuts and needs help him picking them up. Kids make a throwing motion and toss them back, while he does silly things before catching them and putting them in his box. There’s no winning or losing here. If the child doesn’t respond, Cookie Monster simply comes along and picks up a coconut for Grover.
Elmo’s World is an augmented reality scene where kids are transported to Elmo’s play world, helping him water plants and touch the stars.
Kinect Sesame Street TV is available now on Xbox 360.
Check out the video to see it in action and let us know what you think about video games becoming this interactive. Does this make you more likely to let your kids play?
Photo courtesy of Microsoft.