Children can first "Adopt-a-Puppy", where they can choose a virtual pet to take with them throughout the game. They can then hone their mouse and finer motor skills, not to mention develop artistic creativity and their sense of humour, in the "Pup Art Gallery". Here they have all manner of colours, textures and even puppy fashions as a source of inspiration for their publication of the "Dogue" magazine. (Real backgrounds from the film are also included.)
Problem solving skills come under the magnifying glass in "Top Dog", a kind of pup-detective game where players must gather clues from the Parisian Twilight Bark Gang to find the leader and free the puppies. A slightly more frivolous, but no less important game is "Dog-o-matic", where players save their spotted friends from becoming pup cakes and develop hand-to-eye co-ordination and quick reflexes along the way. Then, all that is left to do is work with speed and accuracy to feed all 102 Dalmatians before they completely wreck Cruella's kitchen.
Based on the Disney film of the same name, this 102 Dalmatians package is a great spin-off for anyone who enjoyed the movie. However, there is plenty of creative fun to be had for children who have not seen the film, but love PC games. And parents can rest assured that no matter how many hours their youngsters spend on-screen, there is enough educational content to make it worthwhile. Suitable for 4-8 years. --Lucie Naylor