Sesame Street Sports
There must be a rule in the videogame industry that children's games don't need the same level of polish or entertainment value as "regular" games. How else to explain the large number of sub-par titles developed for kids? Sesame Street Sports continues this tradition, and although it tries to push a strong sense of fair play and sportsmanship, these aspects ultimately serve as an excuse for not having to tune the game to any great degree.
This isn't to say that Sesame Street Sports doesn't have its merits. Rather, it will probably entertain young fans of Sesame Street for a decent amount of time. The six different sports are visually diverse (even if they do play almost exactly like one another) and the voices of the Sesame Street characters are as charming as ever. The game oozes with the show's personality, an important fact for parents wondering if they should pick it up.
The gameplay takes the theme of non-competitiveness too far. Every race is simply the player versus the clock. You can even turn the clock off if you want to, making things even less competitive. It would seem that a better way to teach sportsmanship would be to include other characters to race against, and then have everyone tell each other what a good job they did, regardless of their finishing status. As it stands, there's little consistency or motivation to keep playing, and savvy children will pick up on this right away.
Another annoying aspect is that the game doesn't save any scores for time or the icons players pick up on the tracks. If you want to try and beat a time, you'll just have to remember the best time for a given track. This could have been easily included and probably wouldn't have shattered any child's ego. In fact, it would have more than likely motivated them to do better than they had before, which is a skill any child needs.
Sesame Street Sports is also riddled with programming bugs, making it obvious that the game didn't spend much time in testing. Aside from a tremendous clipping problem, which makes getting around almost any obstacle a chore, the controls are awkward and jumping is imprecise. The game often jumps for you in certain difficult situations, although children probably could have figured it out themselves. There's even a bug that will allow you to float through the air if you brake completely in the middle of a jump.
Sesame Street Sports might connect with very young gamers, but even those older tikes who enjoy Sesame Street will be put off by the game's utter simplicity and lack of finishing touches. As long as people believe that children's games don't need to be well made, the market will continue to be saturated with this type of average effort. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The visuals are decent, and the Sesame Street characters are well rendered. This, along with the sound, will be the most compelling aspect for young gamers. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The voices are straight from the show, although the commentary during the actual races does tend to get a bit repetitive. The music is generic and marginal, but the voices make the game. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The game has serious clipping problems, and on top of that, there's no compelling reason to play it over and over, when it doesn't offer any sort of challenge. Little children might be entertained by it, but most of the older set will grow bored immediately. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
There are six different events, each with four of their own tracks, but with no way to determine what you've done or how well you've done it, this won't make most players want to keep on going. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The instruction manual is decent, although it might be hard for some of the game's intended players to read. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide