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Review CornerSoftware
Adiboo: Discover Music, Melody & Rhyme
Rating: four stars
The Bottom Line
This software fills a gap with its outstanding activities designed to introduce young children to the wonderful world of music. Its sometimes difficult interface (due in part to the sheer amount of things to do) means parents will need to be present through their child’s first few sittings with the game. Packed with fun and educational activities, this Adiboo title never misses a beat when it comes to allowing kids to explore musical concepts, and will certainly keep kids engaged for a long time to come. Best for children ages 5-7.
Award
Ages: 4-6  Subject: Music  Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Review Sections: Product Overview  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
Parents familiar with the older title Eager to Learn from Sierra will recognize Adiboo and his unique little world. Adiboo, along with his suction-cup dog-friend Pup and a host of other animated characters, welcomes kids to his PlayLand.

Parents not familiar with Adiboo titles will be awestruck by the program’s sheer number of activities. The opportunities to explore and learn seem almost endless.

On the first disc of this 2-CD-ROM set, kids explore and play games in Adiboo’s garden and house – the PlayLand. Besides plenty of multiple-response clickables, there are flowers and vegetable gardens to tend to, a robot who can make fruit trees grow at lightning speed, creativity activities in the playhouse, and baked treats to make and decorate in the kitchen. Cleverly, the fruits, vegetables, and wheat that kids plant and eventually harvest are tied in with the program’s baking games, and even activities like feeding the birds. As such, kids happily go back and forth between the garden and playhouse, keeping themselves busy.

In the PlayLand, many activities are in a free-play format and can also be played as directed games. For example, kids can experiment with creating baked goods using the food items in the fridge, or follow recipes. Similarly, they can create silly faces freely, or choose to try to match features on a mask to match the given one. Most activities have multiple difficulty levels. There are music videos, songs, and the like. Again, the activities are interconnected in a delightful way, creating a unique and immersive experience for little ones. For example, clicking on the radio in Adiboo’s living room will prompt a news report that reminds kids to harvest their gardens before a storm approaches. "Photos" can be taken in the kitchen, and are stored in the paint box.

Kids create an avatar and enter their birthdates at sign-in, and if they play on their birthdays, plenty of birthday surprises are in store throughout the game.

The program’s featured games – designed to allow children to explore and discover music and rhyme – are found on the second CD-ROM. Here, Maestro Gnome welcomes kids to Music Land, where the Sing-a-ma-jig Melody Machine is broken. Kids can find all of the pieces to fix the machine by playing the musical activities.

The multi-level activities are plentiful and fantastic. Kids learn about musical symbols – including things like eighth notes and rests – as they match notes in the note windows to the cute singing frogs; they listen to singing penguins then repeat the notes the animals hit on musical ice pipes scale; children play a memory game that involves matching animal sounds in order to free animals that have been frozen into ice cubes; they match musical styles of the songs they hear to CD jewelcases at the Jukebox; after listening to a song (like Six Little Ducks), kids determine the dancing fish who is beating the matching rhythm; children save everyone’s ears by determining the instrument making the sour notes – the list goes on and on.

Best yet, when kids make mistakes, they’ll get some "Adiboo help". As well, there are musical games and activities to print out and play long after the computer is turned off. Another cute feature involves Adiboo reminding children to "take a break" after they’ve played for awhile – the game goes into a sort of snooze mode if kids agree.

Play and learning are tied together cleverly in PlayLand, though most of the learning is contained on the second CD-ROM, which can be accessed independently once the program is installed.

Some flaws include some lengthy, non-interruptible sequences, and excessive directions. Most kids ages 4-5 will find some of the activities too challenging. On the up side, however, kids will learn all sorts of things about music. They are exposed to musical styles and facts about jazz, opera, piano sonatas, and more. The activities are very clever.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, Pentium 133, 32 MB RAM, 12X CD-ROM. Mac users require Power PC 120 or higher, System 7.6.1, 32 available MB RAM, 12X CD-ROM. A printer is recommended.

Skills Covered
Repeating rhythm, musical scales, musical symbols, matching rhyme and melody, musical styles, musical instruments, pitch, note and tone recognition, creativity.

Educational Value
The musical activities are very clever, requiring young children to listen, discriminate sounds, and draw on their memory skills. On an educational level, this program never misses a beat – opportunities to learn abound. As well, help is given when children make mistakes, and the host is very encouraging. Extension activities are provided for fun and learning away from the computer.

Entertainment Value
Adiboo’s Land of Music is populated with fun characters like Allegro the Ghost, Pup the suction-cup dog, and more. There’s even a villain who is silly enough to be considered funny. Plenty of songs and exciting activities ensure that kids have a great time.

Design
Design flaws are important to note. For one, there are some lengthy scenes and instructions that cannot be by-passed, including introductory songs. Though the program shines with its abundant activities, younger children in the suggested age group may be overwhelmed with all of the options. The interface is not always intuitive, and will require parents to sit down with their kids the first few times the program is played. On the up side, most activities have multiple difficulty levels that are easily adjusted.

Replayability
Parents who aren’t familiar with Adiboo software will be floored by the program’s breadth of content – there are too many activities to count! There are just so many things packed into this program that kids will be busy with the program for a very long time.

Dollar Value
This CD-ROM retails for $30 US.

Released: 2000 
Reviewed: December 2000