Goosebumps: The Game is a point-and-click mystery adventure game based on the young adult horror books by R.L. Stine. Intended as a prequel to the 2015 film, the game nonetheless stands on its own. The game places players in the “lead role,” allowing them to designate their name and gender, before they are plunged into a creepy story in which they face situations and monsters from many of the books in the Goosebumps series. The game’s young protagonist comes home from school to find that their normal suburban house has morphed into a creepy haunted mansion. With no one else at home, the responsibility for solving the mystery falls solely on the player. Kids don’t need to be fans of Stine’s Goosebumps series to enjoy Goosebumps: The Game, though it’s probable that their parents are. And with the game’s eerie atmosphere, kids may just want their parents to stick around and even take the controller every once in a while (of course, we think this is a great idea). Goosebumps: The Game is rated E10+ (generally suited for kids 10 years and older) by the ESRB, but parents will need to consider their child’s emotional maturity and reading level.
Arranging and coordinating materials in order to complete a task.
Goosebumps: The Game is a solid example of classic point-and-click adventure. As players move through the game they encounter a number of obstacles, and collect a variety of items with which to move past those obstacles. This is textbook problem solving using the organization thinking skill -- the ability to examine a complex task and collect all of the materials necessary to complete it. The problems in Goosebumps: The Game often require some pretty creative solutions. The protagonist’s whole world has been turned upside down, and the quest back to normalcy means creating order out of all of that disorder.
Additional organization practice -- organization in the more literal sense -- comes from the fact that a player’s inventory grows exponentially over the course of the game. One never knows which of the items they pick up will actually come in handy. In fact, it’s best practice for a player to pick up whatever they can (there’s even an achievement for it).
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
Goosebumps: The Game exercises working memory in two major ways: reading and navigation. The entire adventure is text-based, meaning players must read all of the dialogue, narration, and item descriptions in order to know what is going on. Reading is, by its very nature, an exercise in working memory; We must recall what was just read in order for the text that comes next to make sense.
Navigation practices working memory in much the same way. The game is two-dimensional, and each screen looks like an illustration, but there are often two or three directions a player can move away from a given screen. Remembering where you have been and where you are going is imperative, especially since danger lurks at every turn. There are a couple instances of maze-like areas where it is easy to go in circles, and at one point in the game the player will be shadowed by a menacing character. Taking notes is not a bad idea.
See more about how the game helps players exercise reading comprehension in the Reading tab.
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