Tessy Bear has lost her dog over the bridge that has been turned into jelly, Mr Wobblyman needs help with bouncing balls that won't come down, the bluebells in Bluebell Wood have been turned into real bells, not to mention the race track with out-of-control cars, the robots that have lost their batteries and the goblin chase up the snowy mountains.
Aimed at very young children, Noddy's Magical Adventure is just that: a colourful, magical trip through the Toytown made familiar to many children in the Noddy books. All the favourite characters are there: Noddy, Big Ears, Tessy Bear, Bouncy Dog and friends, and the adventure, which starts at Noddy's house, is reminiscent and evocative of the familiar book and TV tales.
Easy to load and with clear, precise instructions, the game will amuse Noddy fans for hours. Players take the character of Noddy, but in the third person, and can see what he does and where he goes at all times from above and behind. Responsive controls mean the very young may find Noddy difficult to control, but while you have to take certain paths to start the activities, there are no precise routes to cover and the game allows players to wander off-course in most places. The only stipulation is that you must finish all other activities before you go on to snowy mountains, though no particular order is required.
Three difficulty levels--easy, medium and hard--mean this game will grow with your youngster, refining motor controls, hand-to-eye co-ordination and elementary gaming skills from the age of about three to six years old. The medium and hard levels increase difficulty by adding to the number of tasks to be completed and giving players a time constraint, and the puzzles and tasks encourage a number of skills, including colour and sound recognition, patterns, completing tasks within a deadline, following instructions and problem solving.
All in all, this is another fantastic game for youngsters from the BBC. Graphics may appear chunky and pixellated in places, but they are good as the PlayStation allows and they certainly do Noddy justice. Bright, colourful, educational and, most importantly of all, great fun, parents can rest assured that every hour their toddler or youngster spends on it, the benefits will be educational as well as fun. --Lucie Naylor