Reviewed on PC

CHARLIE CHURCH MOUSE BIBLE ADVENTURES

Reviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
STAFF REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: LifeLine Studios
Price Range: $21-30
Learning curve time: under 30 mins.
Age level: 2-6
System Requirements: P166, 64 megs RAM, 24x CD-ROM, WIN 95 or higher, Windows compatible sound card

Genre: Christian Edutainment
Christian Rating: 5+ of 5
   (nothing offensive, Christian)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
   (excellent)
Violence: 5 of 5
   (none)
Adult Content: 5 of 5
   (none)

Charlie Church Mouse
A nice variety

Charlie is a small mouse who lives in the preacher's podium at the church. At the start of the game, you are treated to a video of Charlie making his way to the top of the podium where he opens up the Bible. On the open pages of the Bible are some stories that the player can interact with, including stories of Creation, Noah's Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Three Wise Men, Parable of the Lost Coin, and Fishes and Loaves. Within each is a different activity for the child, some dealing with shapes, colors, and numbers. Other games are jig-saw puzzles and mazes.

Gameplay
The basic structure is a brief animated story of the Bible followed by the activity. One example is the Fishes and Loaves. Falling down the screen is a variety of colored fish, loaves of bread, and trash items. The player controls a basket that moves horizontal by moving the mouse left and right. The game calls out a color and so you are supposed to catch only that color of fish and loaves. Avoid fish of other colors or trash. Once you get enough of them, you move on.

Rated 'Exceptionable' by Shepherd Staff Shepherd's Staff rates “Charlie Church Mouse” as exceptionable.

Controls
The controls are mostly mouse input, so be sure to have a mouse that is useable by small hands. For some of the activities, the arrow keys on the keyboard are used. Too bad these couldn't have been programmed into mouse controls for consistency and so as not to confuse young players. They do have a picture of the keyboard that comes up indicating the location of the arrow keys for younger players.

Design
Utilizing Macromedia Director, Lifeline takes advantage of the strengths of the engine. In doing so, they've created a visually appealing title.

Some strengths are in the sound effects, where kids are heard giggling. In particular, the “hum” of the camel-riding wise men is quite fun. The graphics are well done, more than sufficient for children's tastes. It almost has that Saturday-morning cartoon type of look and feel to it.

They do offer two skill levels for differentiating between skill levels of the players.

Deficiencies
The game will resize your screen when starting and switch back to your original settings when leaving. This is a pain but may be unavoidable if only one size is available. It would be nice if the game could run and match your screen settings. A few more stories and games would've been nice.

Where can players and parents object?
No real places for complete objection. As a parent, you may desire that the Bible stories had more detail but LifeLine had to balance between length and content. Remember that a young player's attention span is a bit shorter than yours.

Summary
"Charlie Church Mouse" is a solid Christian title for their target age range of 2 to 6. It offers enough variety to keep most interested. The game doesn't hold as much interest for older kids or those that have experienced lots of education software. Consider supporting these types of efforts by buying "Charlie Church Mouse".

Year of Release—2002



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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