"Winners Use Government Grants!" proclaims the opening screen of DigiWoog Disaster, a new edutainment point-and-click adventure game. Well, we should be happy that WoogiWorld and BoMToons were the winners picked by the US Department of Justice to help kids learn about mobile devices, since they've come up with something really cool. An unidentified flying object has crashed on Woogi World, and Dr. Wiggenstein knows that only Woog-Of-Action Jett Woogman has the smarts and skills to investigate. He hands Jett a brand-spanking new DigiWoog mobile device to assist him, chock full of helpful apps. And so Jett sets out to solve the mysterious mystery of the mysterious UFO... and maybe learn a little about mobile phone safety, too!
DigiWoog Disaster is played entirely with the mouse in a standard, if simplified, adventure game interface. Click on items or characters to interact or converse. There's no real inventory, but in the bottom left corner of the screen is your DigiWoog device which contains various apps. You'll use these apps to assist you in solving puzzles or discovering information, particularly the "map" app, which transports you around Woogi World. Also, please note that the dialogue "skip" button is the kind that advances to the conversation bit rather than skipping all dialogue entirely. It's not a bad thing to explain game objectives thoroughly given the educational purposes, but older players and fast readers should appreciate the option to move it along.
Digiwoog Disaster is obviously kid-oriented, but it's the best kind of kid-oriented. Like the most beloved segments of Sesame Street, it isn't at all condescending to its target audience, and is filled with enough physical comedy and non-intrusive inside jokes to entertain adults playing along. Since the purpose is to teach about mobile devices, most of the challenge comes from information concerning safety or the use of the technology. This, of course, makes much of the game a cinch for those technologically literate enough to know, say, not to give out your password information lightly (though one could think of a few tech companies that could stand a refresher course in that area.) Still, the in-game mobile device is integrated into some creative puzzles, and the game's whole presentation is so bouncy and colorful that it can't help but bring a little cheer. Digiwoog Disaster is said to be the first of many collaborations in the "CyberHero Mobile" line, and hopefully they will all be of such quality.