Company: Kabongo, Inc.
Price: First Habitat Free, $4.95 additional habitats
Ages: 4-7 years
About Go Go Kabongo (taken from Feb. 11, 2011 press release)
Designed especially for kids ages 4-7, GoGo Kabongo presents three fun-filled learning habitats: Laughter Lake, Galaxy Garden, and Twister Top. Here children can play challenging learning games, solve mini-missions, and discover lots of other hidden surprises. Along the way, children will meet a host of friendly characters who are always there to help and share a laugh.
Each of GoGo Kabongo’s learning games addresses a specific cognitive skill and adapts to the child’s level, so they are never too easy or too hard, inspiring self-confidence and independent play.
Critical thinking skills children learn and practice with GoGo Kabongo:
• focus and attention
• letter and pattern recognition
• listening comprehension
• phonics and phonetic awareness
Go Go Kabongo is designed for children ages four to seven. With this in mind we chose Rebekah (7) to be the one to review this product. She thoroughly enjoyed playing games on the Kabongo website.
“ I like Go Go Kabongo because of it’s characters. The one in the clubhouse is named Duffy. Duffy always says ‘You can’t learn moves like this’. There is a character named Ginzo. He has a comic sticker in the comic maker and it says ‘Aw, we played too hard’. He says this because his doll head is in his hand and the body is on the floor, because he played too hard’. Go Go Kabongo has Galaxy Garden with Photo Safari. Photo Safari has a camera and you take pictures of the animals but only the animals you have not taken pictures of already. You get a prize when you finish. You can pick your prize from three choices. You can get a new part for your skate park, a sticker, a poster for your clubhouse. Robo Bobo is another game in Galaxy Garden. You have to make a robot from pieces off of the conveyor belt. You pick up pieces from the conveyor belt and see if they fit . Then you get a prize when you are done. I really like Go Go Kabongo and give it ten thumbs up.” (narrated to mom by Rebekah)
As you can tell from reading what Rebekah thought of the program she had a great time with Go Go Kabongo. The games were right up her alley. Very bright and colorful with lots of action. I liked that the games seemed to “grow with her”. The first time she played a game she earned the reward quickly. The more she played the game, the longer it took to earn the reward. When she made a mistake in a game, it gave her encouraging words urging her to try again.
The rewards are used in your character’s clubhouse. The clubhouse is where you can access your skate park, or comic book maker. You can also change your avatar within the clubhouse. When you are ready to play more games just click on the map and you can choose which habitat you would like to play in. Each habitat has specific characters that guide you through the games.
Go Go Kabongo helps to teach pre-readers and beginning readers the skills they need to become better readers. The games themselves do not teach reading, but help kids with learning skills needed to read. There is a game to discern big and small animals. There is a game that you have to look at the two letters given and then find and “run” over those letters with your skateboard. This game has kids remembering what letters they are looking for as they are shown the letters, then the letters are hidden.
We used Go Go Kabongo as Rebekah’s “fun” computer time. I did not make it part of her school day, but it was one of the computer game choices she could make when she was allowed to play for fun. Rebekah regularly chose to play Go Go Kabongo.
One aspect of the game that annoyed me a little, but did not bother Rebekah at all was the speech. Most of the characters sounded like stereotypical “surfer dudes” from California. Each character was easy to identify by their voice, they all had a very distinct way of speaking. There was a good mix of male and female characters.
The characters were definitely nothing you had ever seen before. They were completely fantastical, some had four eyes and six legs, one looked vaguely like an octopus but floated in the air. Even the avatar Rebekah made up was unique because of all the choices in features to make the character up.
Go Go Kabongo also has a very nice parent site. You may log in and see progress reports on how your child is doing. You can opt to have these reports e-mailed to you as well. There are coloring pages, dot-to-dot pages and mazes that can be printed for your child as well. There are different parenting articles to read as well as activities to do with your child.
I would recommend this game. In fact, during the review period I was able to recommend it to a few people who’s kids have enjoyed Go Go Kabongo as well. I really like the fact that one habitat (two for a limited time) is free so you can try this out without a monetary commitment. Then if your child likes it, you can buy each additional habitat for $4.95, no subscription fees ever. I feel that the price for this game is very reasonable.
Another reason that I recommend this product is the good tech support. I had a little trouble when we first began using this website. When I e-mailed the tech support on a Friday evening, not expecting an answer until Monday, I was surprised to receive and answer and a solution to the problem that evening.
How to buy:
Go Go Kabongo is an online game. Visit the website www.Kabongo.com to create a log-in and start playing. Parents will need to put in their e-mail address and set up the account for their child.
I am not the only one to review Go Go Kabongo. Other members of the TOS Review have been able to play this game as well. Visit the Crew Blog to get a balanced picture of this website.
As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received all three Go GO Kabongo Habitats for free from Kabongo, Inc, in exchange for my honest review of their product.