Reviewed: November 21, 2007
Released: July 30, 2007
Mac System Requirements
You can have Charlie Brown finally not be such a blockhead and lead his team to victory. Itís The Big Game, Charlie Brown is the great interactive game that helps teach youth about baseball and the finer points of the game. They can also learn puzzle solving and social interaction with the search for teammates as Charlie Brown with his faithful companion Snoopy searches the neighborhood for his friends.
Itís The Big Game Charlie Brown is more than just a cute kids game of baseball using the Peanuts characters. It helps kids learn about social interaction and teaches them about what others may want.
Itís The Big Game uses the puzzle solving skills of talking with others and finding out what they want and helping them get it in order for them to join your team. This little interaction and mini game is a great way for kids to learn how to socialize and deal with others as well as a fun way to play baseball with Charlie, Snoopy and the whole gang.
Of course you can just skip all the finding the team stuff and jump right into the game from the main screen or you can choose to find your team and recruit them. The entire game uses only the mouse for an easy to handle gaming for kids that is very simple and easy to follow.
The searching for teammates is just Charlie Brown wandering around the neighborhood finding his friends and asking them to play some ball. He cannot have more than one friend tagging along, not including his loyal pup Snoopy, while trying to scout out players.
Each player you can recruit has a social puzzle that you have to solve and knowing the Peanuts gang and the cartoon will help you but you can eventually puzzle through many of them on your own. The cursor moving around the screen will change to a cloud when there is something to interact with and this is usually a clue to the puzzle.
The social puzzles are things that each character wants and you have to figure out how to help them. A good example of this is how to help your friend Linus by getting Lucy to follow you out for some fresh air. Linusís mini game opens up after you get rid of Lucy who always hangs around trying to win his affection. Linusís mini game is a simple memorization game using a piano and notes that is fun and can be set to different difficulty settings.
The mini games are pretty easy and a fun way to add some content to the gameplay of finding your team. The mini games open up after the social puzzle has been solved and are things that are a part of the character of each player Charlie is trying to recruit.
Once you have a team member you retire to the ball field to learn a new part of the ball game that player is a part of. The outfielders will show you how to play the catching part while the catcher will help you pitch and so forth.
The actual ball game is pretty simple and can be played easily by kids and can be a challenge as well. It may be a bit too simple for adults but is still fun and would be great way to help a child learn how to play baseball and have some fun on the computer.
The batting is a simple matter of hitting the ball after moving the character closer to the home plate when the ball is pitched. It is a matter of timing and requires you to simply press the mouse button to hit the ball. The batting is very simple while the catching or fielding is a little more complex but still pretty easy.
Running is a little more complex but still pretty easy by simply clicking on a character on any base and then clicking on the next base if you want them to go another base. For the general base running of the first base they will automatically run to the next base or pause if it looks like a baseball will be caught.
They have made a lot of the game automatic to make it kid friendly and it works very well. The running is easy and you can let characters stop at the base automatically, run extra bases to try to get an extra run in or even steal a base.
Catching is done by telling any player on the field where to go to catch the ball. You simply move the cursor on the field where you think the ball will land and the closest character will go there. When the charter has caught the ball the play ends but for a grounder the player has to tell the character where to throw the ball.
An adult can figure out the simple game play to easily win the baseball game but kids can have a fun time learning about baseball. They will not only learn how to play baseball and many rules but all the possible plays to make as well as the quick decision making needed like where to throw the ball after a catch.
Itís The Big Game has some pretty simple graphics with the system requirements showing this. The game uses simple animation and cartoon scenes but they are very good and continue the great tradition of the Charles Schultz comic strip. They have done a great job of keeping the game interactive and not too complicated with the simple graphics but have created a comic strip type game that is enjoyable even for adults to watch.
The voice acting is very good and they have done a wonderful job of recreating the entire Peanuts style with the voice acting. The voices are very close to what I remember for the original characters from the old TV shows like Itís the Great Pumpkin and other classic Peanuts shows.
They did a nice job with the audio for the theme music as well and did not try to spruce things up or change the classic Peanuts style. The voices especially are very well done and they have included voice acting that you can feel the characters of Charlie and the others come through just with the voices.
Kids will have a fun time with Itís The Big Game Charlie Brown not only learning how to play baseball and how all the various players work together but in the mini games and social puzzles to collect your team. The game includes the quick get into the ball game route or you can have your child work at recruiting the team for help with social skills that they may not even know they are learning.
Things like how to help others or noticing things about individuals and their environment will be useful in helping them are what the social skills are all about. The mini games are fun as well and not too difficult that will help with some memorization skills with kids as well as helping them learn how to build friendships and teamwork.
Itís The Big Game Charlie Brown is another great childís game from Viva Media that is a great way for kids to learn about baseball and friendships. With the mini games kids will learn about observing and how to help others as well as simple memory skills. The big game will help kids with learning how to play baseball, the rules and even some hand eye coordination that is fun.