Edutainment. Say that word to a lifelong gamer and watch for the eye-roll. That mashed-up word – which can actually be found in the Oxford Dictionary of English – is the verbal embodiment of adults trying to pull the wool over the eyes of kids.
As a kid in the ’80s, I remember learning the value of buying low and selling high not from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, but from a game on my TRS-80 called Lemonade Stand. I also remember my parents thinking Maths Invaders was a good idea, but it never took me long to find my way back to the trusty old Atari – shooting aliens with bullets instead of numbers was much more satisfying.
Starting life on the Apple II, Reader Rabbit was part of the edutainment software vanguard, vying for the attention of children alongside Mario and Sonic. After a long, righteous life, it seems fitting that the character should find his way to the big screens of 2018 via the tech-giant’s more recent hardware – Apple TV.
This latest incarnation of Reader Rabbit, developed by Dashalope Games and published by Games4Kids, should be a much easier sell for parents to make – all it’s really trying to teach, is how to play 2D platform games.