Barney, Bugs Bunny, odd uncle challenge young game players

November 22, 1999|By Cox News Service

It's amazing that anything with Barney's mug on it still exists. There was a time where the purple dinosaur inspired rage and social backlash. Now, it's the opposite. Barney is back in favor, in part because of cool toys like Barney's Song Magic Bongos ($30). The Magic Bongos plays 11 songs in the voices of five different instruments.

All kids have to do is pick their song ("Farmer in the Dell," among others) and an instrument, ranging from a steel drum to a hooting organ sound, and start bonging away. Each hit yields a note and, following that principle, a bunch of notes/hits form a song. This toy is great for creative kids just beginning to attain dexterity, and is also good for celebrities who insist on dancing around their homes naked. (800-PLAYSKL)

Bugs Bunny has a problem. On the way to Albuquerque he finds a time machine. That's not the bad part. The bad part is that he tries to use it and gets lost in time. In Infogrames' Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time ($30, for the Playstation), that wascally wabbit must travel through five eras to get back to the present. Along the way, he meets up with favorites such as Elmer Fudd, Witch Hazel, Yosemite Sam and Marvin the Martian. If nothing else, this game teaches the kiddies that you shouldn't play with time machines.

Uncle Albert is a little crazy (we'll euphemistically call him "eccentric"), but boy is it fun to poke around in his stuff! In Uncle Albert's Magical Album ($30, PC and Mac), you can look through Albert's scrapbook and piece together puzzles by flipping pages and putting items in the right places; if you find a key you can unlock the rocket ship game and go on a space journey. Find the picture of the champ and you can play in the stadium. The game, a best seller in France, is handily adapted to the United States. The software runs on PCs with Windows and on Macs. It features many small films, eight individual games and a host of animal friends to play with.

Information: www.vtechsoft.com/album.html.

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