||Arthur's Absolutely Fun Day Gameboy
Arthur games Designed for children ages 4-7, *'s Absolutely Fun Day! is a collection of 15 mini-games featuring characters and locales from Marc Brown's book series. Help the aardvark win a pass to the WonderWorld amusement park by obtaining gold stars, earned by completing ten mini-games within Elwood City. While each mini-game can be played multiple times, subsequent attempts offer a greater challenge. Players will unlock WonderWorld and an additional five activities after collecting 16 stars.
The ten main activities include Basketball Free Throw, Making Pancakes, Newspaper Route, Library Helper, Jelly Bean Sort, Air Hockey, Soap Box Derby, Picking Berries, Diving for Treasure, and Skateboard Recycling. All activities except Air Hockey and Soap Box Derby involve helping * collect, sort, or throw ten objects. In Newspaper Route, for example, * must successfully throw newspapers atop ten doormats while moving from right to left on a bicycle.
The remaining two games have slightly different objectives. Soap Box Derby is a top-down racing game where the goal is to avoid obstacles en route to the finish line, while Air Hockey is a Pong-variant that involves scoring seven goals before the computer. The five bonus activities all have a carnival theme: Bumper Cars, Water Balloon Race, Sink the Clown, Sledgehammer Hit, and Skee Ball. A password feature lets you resume progress at a later time.
*'s Absolutely Fun Day! is a cheerful diversion that will please the young aardvark's legions of fans, even those who can't yet read. Francine, Buster, Binky, D.W. and other familiar faces from the hit books and PBS TV series appear in supporting roles.
Players roam around *'s neighborhood, entering minigames to collect 16 stars, which in turn admit one to the Wonderworld Amusement Park, where the minigames comprise such familiar fare as bumper cars and dunking a clown.
The games are so simple that no screen text is needed to explain them. The independent Entertainment Software Ratings Board describes this game as "edutainment," but that really feels like a stretch. A few of the minigames task players to sort objects by color, though. There's no penalty for losing a minigame. In fact, you can play the same minigame 16 straight times to win the necessary stars for entering Wonderworld.
No special dexterity is needed, so the frustration factor should be low, even for young players. The minigames are varied enough that players should enjoy them for quite a while. After all, Game & Watch Gallery games have proved perennially popular in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) their simple game mechanics.