Monday, April 4, 2011

TOS Review - Go Go Kabongo

As part of the TOS Crew, we received GoGo Kabongo, an on-line computer game designed for ages 4-7.  GoGo Kabongo is designed for beginning readers to help them develop cognitive skills that are necessary for success in reading.

  • Attention and Focus
  • Memory Skills
  • Processing
  • Planning
  • Visualization
  • Comprehension
 You can learn more about the cognitive approach to reading and how this program incorporates all of this into their computer games here.

To play, you simply sign your child up here. There are three habitats available with three games in each habitat.  Two habitats, Galaxy Gardens and Laughter Lake are currently free while Twister Top has a nominal, one time fee of $4.95.

When your child logs in they are taken to their own tree house where they can make their avatar. There is a combination of goofy images your child can pick to make their "person" unique.

Tree House

From the Tree House your child can either go to the map to enter one of the habitats, create a comic book or they can go to the skate park where they can build their own skate park. They can earn pieces for the skate park and comic book maker through rewards during the games. Each skate park is unique to the pieces earned and your child's imagination. They can easily take apart the park and rebuild it, changing things as they desire.


The Map above shows the three habitats where your child can play. They click on the one they are interested in and they are taken to that world.  While there, they will meet some funny characters.

Each habitat has it's own host. Karl is found in Galaxy Gardens, Mimi is found in Twister Top, Duffy is found in the Tree House, Mz. Teezly is found in Laughter Lake and Ginzo is the host in training.  Each character has a very unique personality.

More about the three habitats (from their website):

Bubbling with fun and adventure, Laughter Lake is home to the charming Mz. Teezly, as well as a slew of other jolly creatures, mini-quests, and surprises. Peek behind a giggling waterfall, or dive right into the learning fun with three skill-building activities!

The three games in Laughter Lake are:

 Going Buggy
Listen to a story, and then recreate the scene! In this activity, children demonstrate basic comprehension. They begin with listening to interesting passages, and then placing images into the scene to create a picture of what they heard. In higher levels, the “stories” shift from simple phrases to longer paragraphs, challenging children to use more advanced comprehension strategies, in order to create the scene. Text appears on screen as the audio plays, encouraging those who can to read along!

Key Skills:
Comprehension, Visualization

Scuba Dude
Explore the depths of Laughter Lake in a cheery submarine while you collect underwater treasures. The child collects the items in the sequence shown while avoiding sea life obstacles such as coral, eels and sharks. As the game progresses, the sequences become even more challenging and more underwater obstacles appear, requiring kids to think and react more quickly.

Key Skills:
Successive Processing, Visual Scanning, Working Memory

Critter Sizer
Size up the animals. As animals skate by, children must react quickly to determine if the animal is big or small depending on their size or the number of syllables in their name. As children advance, the magic lens shimmers, enlarging or shrinking the animals: so the child needs to remember the actual size of the animal. It can be tricky, but it's always lots of fun!

Key Skills:
Attention and Focus, Verbal Rehearsal

Rocket into outer space for brain-boosting games that are out of this world! Blast off on missions for Karl — the gloomiest dude in the universe — and explore among the stars for hidden surprises. Each of the three extraordinary planets is home to a challenging learning game; use your smarts to blaze through the levels!

The three games in Galaxy Gardens are:

Robo Bobo
Help Karl finish building his robot friend! Children use their spatial awareness to place pieces according to shape and size to complete each puzzle and advance to the next level. Higher levels present more complicated puzzles with more missing pieces.

Key Skills:
Spatial Awareness, Visual Scanning

Robo Robo in action

Rocket Racer
Race through space on a letter-collecting mission! At the start of each round, a series of letters is introduced along with the letters’ sounds. Then, players blast off on an exciting journey to collect the letters in the right order. In higher levels, players must dodge non-target letters that may look similar. This game is designed to address commonly mistaken letters such as “p” and “q” and “b” and “d”.

Key Skills:
Alphabet Knowledge, Successive Processing, Verbal Rehearsal

Photo Safari
Go on a scavenger-hunt safari! The goal of this game is to find and take photos of different animals without running out of film. Children can earn more film by helping the animals find their lost items. Children have to plan and aim carefully.. Higher levels have more animals and items to find, as well as distracting items to challenge their Working Memory and focus.

Key Skills:
Attention and Focus, Planning

Ride through the wild and dusty mesas of Twister Top on a train bound for adventure! Go on mini-missions for the glorious Mimi Lookatmi and her little brother Tati. Explore the cactus-clad cliffs and uncover three mind challenging games with multiple levels of challenge!

The three games in Twister Top are:

Desert Dash
Hop on Mimi’s motorcycle for a mad dash through the desert! At the start of each round, children hear and memorize a series of letter sounds. Then, they roar off in Mimi’s sidecar, jumping and veering around dangerous obstacles to collect the letters that match those sounds in the proper order. In higher levels, children have to recognize and collect short, commonly used words.

Key Skills:
Phonics, Verbal Rehearsal, Working Memory

Design A Door
Recreate a series of colorful doors! In this game, children must reproduce the pattern they are shown, paying close attention to colors and shapes. In early levels, the patterns are simple enough for children to remember and replace the items step by step. But, in higher levels, children must try other strategies such as creating a picture in their heads.

Key Skills:
Simultaneous Processing , Visualization

Crazy Maze
Roll through a rocky desert maze, avoiding trapdoors and cacti! Weave a letterball strategically through a twisting, turning course (and watch out for twisters!) to form a word at the end of the maze. As your child progresses, they learn to recognize patterns in everything from three to six-letter words, focusing on phonics and consonant blends.

Key Skills:
Phonics, Spatial Awareness

The skills chart below shows all the skills worked on for each game:


I signed my 5 year old up for this review as he fits the criteria of being between the ages of 4-7 and he is a prereader. :)

He loved having something of his very own to review. He found the characters funny and engaging and asked to play everyday. I really appreciated the weekly email updates giving an overview of what he was working on the past week. The emails show the level of each game as well as what that area was focusing on. I appreciated that because, to me, it looked like it was all a game.  :) It was nice to see that there was a point to the games he was playing. 

We did run into some technical glitches which prevented us from being able to continue playing the games. I emailed the problems we were having to their customer support and they responded promptly and were very eager to get the glitches worked out.  Whether the problems we were experiencing were on their end or my end, I'm not exactly sure as others on the TOS Crew who are also reviewing this product have not had the same issues. I appreciated their promptness and willingness to help us. Great customer service goes a long way in my book.

I would recommend this program to those who are interested in a computer based game for your younger kiddo's that has some fun games, easy enough for them to accomplish on their own, but sneaks in some learning along side the fun.

To see what others on the TOS Crew thought of Go Go Kabongo, click here.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.


Wendy R said...

Great review. Very thorough!

Vickie said...

Yes I agree....great thorough review.