(Reviewed on Xbox Series X by Games of DAYNE)
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is a point and click educational experience aimed at children and is wonderfully presented in the style of a playable picture book. Playing as a mouse, four levels that span nine locations are rife with plants, insects and animals to interact with and learn about them.
Incredibly simplistic and accessible to even the youngest of players, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia makes learning fun in what is essentially an interactive nature class.
The player moves the mouse around the charmingly artistic environment that feels as though it’s been ripped straight from the pages of a children’s picture book with over 160 different species of flora and fauna to interact with and learn about.
With only two button prompts to deal with, clicking one will make the targeted plant/animal/insect move while pressing the other will bring up an information card detailing its name and display a picture that points out parts of its body as well as some other fun facts and additional illustrations. The information is simple enough for young players to understand, the entire concept of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is so well designed in terms of accessibility, favouring simplicity and minimal text instead of overwhelming the screen will excessive, irrelevant or complex insight.
Whether its navigating the burrow below ground, traversing treetops or swimming in a pond, Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia guides the player through its lively world, rife with insects, birds and other animals that bring each of the four levels to life. Packed with elevators, ladders and other unconventional mouse-sized objects, exploring the environment is playfully creative, adding a further sense of adventure to the learning experience that is relevant not just for nature but as an introduction to video games themselves. Developer Circus Atos have balanced the experienced so that is just as fun to play as it is to discover the life that inhabits the explorational playgrounds.
An incredibly relaxing and soothing score are ever-present making the educational walkabout all the more accessible. The overall presentation is so irresistibly charming, playful and light spirited that Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is as much of a joy to watch as an adult and father while my four year old son enjoyed identifying what animals he knew and tried his best to read what words he recognised. As a father this was such a delightful experience to share with my son and its an incredible concept that I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen before. An interactive educational experience such as this disguised as a video game is so clever and is presented so well. My ONLY negative comment about this title is that the B button quits out to the main menu. While this is not an issue for myself, my son accidentally pressed it a number of times and it’s a problem I suspect will be common for children.
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia is a fantastic experience for a parent to share with their children. Playing alone as an adult may not be as appealing to all players though I am 100% certain that by the end of the experience any player will have at least learned something, even just one new fact about an animal or a plant. Depending on the age of the player or level of assistance from a parent little ones could easily spend a few hours searching this interactive encyclopedia. When I played through again on my own I spent about 45 minutes reading every fact I could find and I’ll be the first to admit… I had an amazing time doing so.
+ Playful illustrations
+ Very accessible for young players
+ Facts presented simply
+ Relaxing score
+ Incredible concept
– B button quits to Main Menu
Developed by: Circus Atos
Published by: RedDeerGames
Release Date: April 23 2021
Platforms: Xbox One/Series X|S and Nintendo Switch
* A digital code was kindly provided by the Publisher for the purpose of this review *
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