Mia’s Language Adventure – The Kidnap Caper

Reviewed by: Lianne Reitter, October 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Kutoka, go to the web site
Requires: Pentium II, Windows 98 through XP, DirectX 8.1; Mac OS X 10.2, G3/400MHz, 128MB RAM, a 12X CD ROM Drive and 300MB free hard drive space
MSRP: US$24.00

This one is for the kids, boys and girls, and it’s great. You may remember Kutoka, the company that brought us Didi & Ditto, those colorful beaver siblings. The Didi & Ditto series is terrific, but Kutoka’s main claim to fame is another series of learning games surrounding Mia, a mouse, and her friends. Mia, is one smart mouse and along with taking your children on terrific adventures, she'll teach them either French or Spanish along the way.

In “The Kidnap Caper” we see Mia and the gang celebrating Grandma Mimi’s win at an Art contest. Suddenly, the lights go out and everyone panics. There are scuffling sounds heard, and when the lights come back on, Grandma Mimi is gone. She has been kidnapped! But by whom? And why? The obvious choice would be to suspect Mia’s arch rival, Romain, but he and his entourage (including one fine looking rat named Athwart) stand among the shocked onlookers.

Playing as Mia, it is your job to travel through the game (Mia’s house and garden), find the clues and rescue Grandma from the dastardly no-goodniks who have taken her. But that’s not the only purpose to the Kutoka brand—as game producers for children they are determined to teach you a thing or two as well. At certain parts of the game you are challenged with word games teaching you a few words in either French or Spanish; you choose which language you want your child to learn at the beginning of the game. My first challenge was a 12 word spelling & match-the-word-to-the-picture game. It brought back memories of grade 5 French class: porte, chaise, boîte, lit, all everyday words that kids are familiar with; door, chair, box and bed in this case. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from so your child can benefit from the game’s lessons if this is their first time hearing a new language or if they only need the lessons in spelling and grammar. While the lessons cover both vocabulary and sentence structure, they are meant as an introduction only, and include the words for animals, food, family and everyday objects. It's all quite well done and your child is sure to impress you as the game progresses.

The best things about this game are Mia’s crazy character friends, the rich 3 dimensional graphics and great game play. These three elements combine to make the game an engaging experience and just the thing that will keep the kids working at the lessons.

Mia’s Language Adventure - The Kidnap Caper is rated for boys and girls, ages 6 to 10 and is best experienced with a parent at their side. It will keep the kids entertained and learning at the same time. If you like The Kidnap Caper, you'll also like Mia’s other adventures, The Search for Grandma’s Remedy, Romaine’s New Hat and Just in Time. All of Kutoka's software is available online through Kutoka’s home page. While you're there, let the kids have some fun at Kutoka’s activity page. This was fun. Highly recommended.

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