Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ooka Island Adventure Review

My family was extremely eager to review Ooka Island Adventure, a game based reading program for ages 3-7. To begin our experience with Ooka Island we had to receive the software and download it to  my PC. It's always available for MAC users.  I could not download it fat enough for my little ones.I have four children, but my 5 year old girl and 9 year old son were most excited about this program. My son has special needs and can always benefit from review so I put him in charge of being his little sisters helper as she explored Ooka Island.They generally began by logging in and selecting the "play" option (there is also a "read" option). It didn't concern me that they leaned toward play as the games themselves are very educational.For example: Alphabet Mountain allows the player to jump from letter to letter in alphabet order until they reach the top of Alphabet mountain. Then they hop on a skateboard and go down the mountain jumping ramps and hearing each letter of the alphabet spoken aloud.The Glass Bottom Boat invites children to rescue a book from the ocean floor and carry it to the Popcorn Library to read through it.Stories include a variety of characters but the prominent characters are 6 year old twins Kayla and Jayden along with their friendly teddy bear friend, Boo.    Pop and Drop quizzes the child on each book after it's read. They click on the bubble with the correct answer to pop and drop it into place.Word Ball is my son's favorite game. During this game each ball is marked with a word or a word bit. The player must kick the ball into one of two nets according to what it is. Cave of Sound is another fun one. The player has to listen to the sound and click to get through a toll booth.As incentive children can earn stickers or purchase things in the Mist Mall
My son loves his Zopet (an adorable  robot style dog) best of all and actually made me take a picture of it on my phone so he could take him everywhere we go. 

During play there is a beach ball in the top left part of the screen. As time goes by the color in the beach ball
disappears acting as a timer guiding the child to choose activities wisely before time runs out.

I like another game after the reading portion called Seashell Words. The child is told a word. They then must read the words on each shell and select the word that was spoken. As each word is selected a sentence is formed. During some games (like memory) the child will play against Zobot. This gives a great practice for the child when Zobot wins (yes, this can happen). Losing in this safe environment allows a child to practice winning and losing skills of sportsmanship. This was especially good for my son who didn't do so well at memory but loved Zobot so much he couldn't bring himself to throw a fit in front of his robot friend.The only thing I disliked about Ooka Island was the intro where it looks like you are flying over Ooka Island  and it twists and turns all over. It actually goes super fast. I get motion sickness very easily and  it makes me dizzy so I have to look away or skip it. Usually I just hit the skip button.A few things to note: I realize some families may be opposed to fantasy elements in education. If your family feels that way, you may wish to know that Ooka Island does have blue ooka elves and flying pigs. Neither really impact the learning or play a major role in anything. They are more of a visual feature than anything else. They participate as a cheering section when the child succeeds at something. There is no magic in this program. Personally, I had no problem with the elves since they are such a minor a role.Another thing is that this program does follow Common Core which is something I know some homeschoolers are watching very closely. You will have to personally decide your stance on that issue.My final thoughts: In one play session of Ooka Island Adventure your child can  recognizing the alphabet, expand their  word recognition and actively read and form sentences. That's pretty impressive. Now, imagine a reasonable price (the home edition is $19.95/ month for a family of four or $149.95 annually see other pricing here) and some scientific research like the Eye/ Ear Reading method (developed by Kay MacPhee the founder and President of Ooka Island Adventure) to back up their effectiveness and you'll see why Ooka Island Adventure has earned itself a gold star from my family.Order Ooka Island Adventure HereAttention: My readers have been invited to take 30% off any annual or monthly subscription to the Ooka Island Learn-to-Read Adventure! This offer is valid until June 1st, 2013.Special thanks to Ooka Island Adventures for providing this program for my family to review and to Mosaic Reviews for providing yet another fun review connection.


  1. Great review! My daughter loved rescuing the Ooka elves!!

  2. We are one of the families who are very careful where fantasy is concerned. We do not do anything with magic, or witches, or fairy godmothers, or fairies. I haven't really thought about elves. If there is no magic, that certainly makes a difference. I will have to pray about it for Sharon. The rest seems wonderful. Thank you for including the warning; it is extremely helpful!