Skunk Software is a studio that's released a handful of disappointing games on the eShop; its releases typically consist of sophomoric and barebones approximations of gambling games and educational games. Still, you have to hand it to the developers for trying to fill a gap in the eShop's library, as there aren't too many games in either genre present on the storefront. The rather utilitarianistic Educational Pack of Kids Games continues this quest, obviously filling the gap of educational games on the Wii U. For its part this game does a good job on the surface of offering a variety of basic mini-games that kids might find enjoyable, but its main downfall is that these games are all as shallow as they could possibly be. Moreover, not all of them feel strictly educational.
Upon booting up you're presented with a whiteboard that has all the various games written on it. Building Blocks is a game that lets you place several blocks of varying shapes and sizes on a flat 2D plane using the GamePad. You can build anything you want here, there's no limit to the amount of blocks that can be spawned in, and the physics are spot on in terms of how the blocks interact with each other. The only problem is that there's no way to rotate blocks when you pick them up, something that seems to be a glaring oversight.
Menu Math is a bizarre math mini game that sees you reading a menu at "Skunky B's Steak House", with the apparent goal of adding up the prices of three outrageously priced menu items. Following this, you sit through a roughly twenty second loading screen as the game gradually displays the prices on a receipt with a zero at the bottom. Weirdly enough, you can't actually input the total of the prices, so you just sit there and stare at the receipt until you eventually back out to the main screen. There's nothing else to do here, so this game feels pretty useless.
Play Piano is just a massive piano display with five black keys and seven white keys. It doesn't teach you how to actually play the piano or anything like that, so there's not a whole lot that can be done here other than just bash away at the keys. The Wii U GamePad only supports one point of touch at a time, so you can only hit one key at a time, but otherwise it's a pretty faithful recreation of part of a piano and it can be rather fun for a bit.
Sk8 is another math game, this time focusing on quick addition skills. As a skater rolls through a neighbourhood an addition problem is displayed on the top of the screen with four possible answers mapped to the Wii U's face buttons. As this is happening a timer runs along the bottom of the screen, recording the length of your run and giving things an element of replayability. If you happen to get the problem wrong three times or you fail to answer it in time, the skater will run over a rock, fall off of his skateboard and die. Clearly, math is a serious matter.
Counting Sheep is yet another math game, this time centered around the concept of, you guessed it, counting sheep. Sheep will periodically fall from the sky and tapping them will add one to the counter in the background as a disembodied voice calls out the number. There's not much else to do here, though some potential coding issues are revealed when sheep occasionally land on the button that's supposed to take you back to the home menu.
Next up is Ice Cream Colors, a game centered around learning colours. Pink, Blue, Orange, and Green squares sit in each corner and an ice cream wagon sits in the corner. A voice calls out each colour and tapping the right one results in applause, while failure results in the skater kid dying again. We're kidding, course, it just calls out another colour so you can try again. Otherwise, there's not much to do here. One would think that perhaps other colours could be introduced, but maybe they're saving that for the sequel.
The last game is shapes, which is centered around fitting those shapes in their respective holes. Using the GamePad you guide a square, circle, triangle and star to their holes as some jazzy music plays in the background. If you succeed the shapes go back to where they were and you can do it again. It's pretty straightforward, though it's rather annoying how the jazz track refreshes every time you put all the shapes back.
From a presentation perspective, Skunk certainly went with the less is more approach. Many aspects of the game feel unfinished as a result, with bland colours and static screens permeating throughout. However, the target audience for this game likely doesn't care terribly about the look of things, so it's not all that important in this case.
All told, Educational Pack of Kids Games is a rather middling affair. For its part it is an educational pack of kids games, and it's got a variety of games that's about right for what you're paying. However, the games included are all quite shallow, and not all of them feel as though they're really teaching young players. Obviously the average individual wouldn't get much mileage out of this, but parents might want to look elsewhere to get educational games for their kids. Granted, there are not many other options on the eShop, but this really isn't a good enough product to be worth a recommendation, it's just a bit too simple for its own good.