E3 2005: Level Up
Didi, Ditto and Creatures Return
Product: Kutoka 2005 Edutainment Games
Company: Kutoka Interactive
Date: 05/25/2005
Avaliable On:

The company that brought kids the hit edutainment software line, Mia, is continuing to bring out high-quality educational games based off of several of their successful series. Kutoka Interactive has three new games, one based off of their fairly new Didi & Ditto line, and two from the innovative Creatures series.

Those adventurous beavers are back, and this time they are helping kids go through their basic 1st grade lessons in Didi & Ditto First Grade: The Wolf King. The Wolf King has taken over and industrialized the beaver's home land, now it is up to the little heroes to outsmart the king's lieutenants and reclaim their land piece by piece. Didi and Ditto will visit many familiar locations, but each one has been drastically altered by the controlling canines. For instance, Blue Bears' cave has been converted into a mining operation, and the clock is now used as a mill. The two beavers have tricked the wolf king into betting the captured land. The bet in question is "Who is smarter, wolves or beavers." Now the two mammals will go from area to area proving that they are smarter than the wolves. With each medallion and flag Didi and Ditto collects -- they get one step closer to retaking their home.

"Our research has shown us that parents are looking for high-quality grade-based edutainment software that will both help and entertain their children. Didi & Ditto First Grade really delivers on both levels and fulfills the promise of what interactive edutainment should be," said Kutoka CEO and Creative Director, Richard Vincent.

Creatures returns in two flavors, one is for the five and up crowd, while the other is designed for everyone from eight to 108. The Creatures series teaches kids about genetics, learning and teaching. Similar to Black & White, Creatures lets you breed and train a race of critters called Norns. Norns model real biological systems and react based off of how the 152 "chemical" based characteristics are arranged at birth. As the norns grow, they learn from their experience and from the lessons that you teach them -- when they become adults, the creatures can mate. Typically the offspring of two adult norns is smarter and healthier than its parents, making it easier and easier to train your creatures.

Creatures: Village (the one designed for the younger gamers) puts your characters in a dynamic, living environment complete with weather and seasons to help you mold and manipulate your norns. In the Spring, flowers bloom, during the Fall the leaves change color and drop. This gives you ample opportunities to teach your creature a huge variety lessons and words. For the older kids, you can take your norns across the galaxy. Creatures: Exodus lets you explore six large environments with machines to work on and combine to help keep your norns safe from the disease causing grendles and norn mischievous ettins.

Exodus also features a new system called the Docking Station. This allows kids to trade or breed their norns with other players across the net. This gives kids a unique opportunity to communicate with people who have similar interests from around the world. "My daughter has made a lot of friends already through the game's Docking Station, and Creatures: Exodus hasn't even hit the State yet," said Vincent.

Look for reviews of these colorful and educational games throughout the year on GameVortex.com.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2