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Charlie Brown and Lucy hunt down Linus' lost blanket

Chances are you grew up with the Peanuts gang, through their comic strip (which debuted in newspapers in 1950) and/or their holiday specials. Now a whole new generation of tykes gets the opportunity to interact with the gang in Tivola's playful Peanuts: Where's the Blanket Charlie Brown?

The game revolves around Linus' lost blanket. With his blanket-stealing grandmother's visit fast approaching, neurotic Linus entrusts Charlie Brown to guard his blanket for a few days. The blanket then goes missing and it's up to the repentant Charlie Brown (or the sneaky Lucy) to enlist Snoopy's help and find the blanket.

The game is very colorful and faithful to the aesthetics of the strip, with the characters' personalities loyally adhering to the subtle persnickitiness established by Peanuts' creator, Charles M. Schulz. Because the institution of Peanuts is so well established and beloved, it's hard to remember that these characters revolve around notable flaws. Charlie Brown beats himself up, Lucy is bossy and both can snap at the game player if poor choices are made. While it was jolting at first to be scolded by Peppermint Patty to "Hurry up!" (the game unfortunately doesn't use the television specials' familiar vocal characterizations), it is in keeping with the characters' original idiosyncrasies and will be appreciated by Peanuts' fans.

The storyline follows Charlie Brown (or Lucy) to various places like the library, computer camp and Schroeder's house. At each location, players are challenged to complete activities before moving on. Kids can play an easy version or a "fairly difficult" version; sample challenges include a maze puzzle, arithmetic quiz and musical pattern identification. The challenges add up to create a game that follows just one storyline, so once kids' successfully complete the game, their only satisfaction in playing the game again is to try different skill levels or to see the game from the other characters' point of view. Kids interested in solving mysteries and puzzles will likely enjoy the game, but more advanced gamers will lament the lack of alternate storylines.

-Amy Wood

Peanuts: WhereĆ­s the Blanket Charlie Brown? :
Tivola  |  |  888-923-6946  | $20
Pros: Faithful depiction of the Peanuts' world. Rated E for Everyone.
Cons: Low-replay value, does not use the same familiar vocal characterizations as the television specials.
Requires: OS 8.1 through 9, PowerPC, 32MB RAM, graphics card (32.768 colors), sound card, CD-ROM drive (4x-speed), 40MB hard drive space
macHOME recommends: A clean, fluidly moving mouse


Memory To Go: IBOOK/TITANIUM 512MB-$115 256MB-$44 128MB-$26 | FLAT PANEL IMAC 512MB-$84 256MB-$44 | Power Mac G4 / eMAC 512MB-$69 256MB-$35 | 2.5" HARD DRIVES 20GB-$116 30GB-$136.

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