Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's Adventure in Tinkertown

Preview by Al Giovetti
Price: $30
Genre: Kidís educational adventure (ages 2 - 8)
Release: October, 1996
Developer: Moving Pixels, Venice, CA
Producer: Fred Skoler, Director, Production
Publisher: MGM Interactive, Santa Monica, CA
Phone: 800-646-4800
Requirements: Windows 95 and Mac hybrid disk

History: The title is inspired by the popular 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bank Bang starring Dick Van Dyke; in fact, a videocassette copy of the film will be bundled with each game. Andrew Taylor, a science director for the Northern California elementary school system served as consultant to ensure the educational value and age appropriateness of the title.

Plot: Chitty crashes through a fence into a junkyard where players use tools and mechanical skills to re-assemble her. Then, Chitty takes the player on a journey to the Island of Tinker Town where huge animated appliances are in need of repair. Missing parts and tools are hidden throughout the island and players solve puzzles to find them. Then, players use talking tools like Rita the wriench and Screwy Louie the screwdriver to fix the appliances. Along the way, kids learn aural comprehension, science, safety and memory skills.

Interface: The dashboard of Chitty, like the dashboard of Humongousí Putt-Putt is the backdrop of the interface. The steering wheel, horn, glove box inventory storage, and three tools, including Screwy Louie, Rita the wrench, and Slammer the hammer.

Gameplay: Six science-based lock and key puzzles include sound, temperature, water, light, electricity, and magnetism. Nine lock and key problem solving puzzles include find lost valve, retrieve missing mouthpiece for grandma phone, and get inside Hot-Z and Tot-Z club.

Missions and scenarios: Help repair broken Chitty and inhabitants of Tinker Town and locate and rescue the missing tools.

Graphics: The title will be one of the first childrenís titles to use true three dimensional (3D) graphics. Moving Pixels, a specialist in cinematic 3D computer graphics, has brought this vibrant graphic title to life.

Animations: There are hundreds of film quality clikable 3D animations and an entire adventure in a totally 3D world. There are twelve tinkerable objects, including Chitty, shower, sink, fan, toilet, stove, pump, generator, grandpa, fridge, heater, and phones. All these objects can be taken apart and put back together teaching the children how to use tools and how these basic objects function.

Voice actors: The title will use as yet unnamed professional voice actors from television and feature film work.

Music score and sound effects. Chitty will have six original songs to sing along with including an opening theme song and an entire musical score. Chitty will have "unique sound effects."

Future plans: Chitty is the firs release under the MGM Family Entertainment brand. Future titles will include Babes in Toyland,an adaption of a made-for-video childrenís feature, slated for the 1997 holiday season.

Sources used for the preview: Quotable sources include Fred Skoler, director of production and Ron Frankel, executive vice president and general manager, MGM Interative, and Rob Kramer, co-designer and partner, Moving Pixels.