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Review CornerSoftware
Adventure Workshop 4th-6th Grade (4th Edition)
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
This set of educational games offers excellent learning opportunities in adventure formats that kids will enjoy. Two of the three programs in the set are quite involving and challenging, making the package best for children who possess follow-through and who enjoy taking on challenges.
Award
Ages: 7-10   Subject: Math/Logic   Brand: The Learning Company
Review Sections: Product Overview  Technically Speaking  Skills Covered  Educational Value  Entertainment Value  Design  Replayability  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
This valuable bundle contains three very educational software programs, each with unique learning opportunities set to adventure formats:
  • Carmen Sandiego: Think Quick Challenge
  • The Yukon Trail
  • Zoombinis Mountain Rescue

In Carmen Sandiego: Think Quick Challenge, Carmen is up to her old tricks, and this time she has employed six master thieves to steal knowledge, along with a fleet of knowledgeable robots called Know-bots. In order to recover stolen knowledge, players must outthink the Know-bots by completing a series of missions and earning Knowledge Points. Children choose a difficulty level and avatar, and then set out to regain knowledge from around the world. The topics covered in the software are diverse, ranging from art to science to math. Kids might have to find a missing number in a mathematical equation, find the number of seconds in one-tenth of a minute, label the star cycle, answer questions about poison dart frogs, and more. Both multiple-choice and true/false questions are featured. Regardless of whether children provide a correct or an incorrect answer to the questions, valuable feedback and added details are provided by the Know-bots. The idea behind this program is that "knowledge is power", and kids will learn quite a few trivia facts as they play.

The Yukon Trail is an older software title that requires just the right mindset and a fair dose of commitment, but teaches children plenty of history facts and exercises their problem-solving skills. Kids relive the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 and build problem-solving skills as they work through a hearty and involving adventure.

Zoombinis Mountain Rescue is an exceptional software game. This is the second title in the Zoombinis series of logical thinking titles, and perhaps the most challenging. Children create bands of adorable creatures and lead them through a series of challenges that help build math skills—particularly those most valuable for computer programming. The activities are perplexing but they offer exceptional opportunities to exercise the brain.

The Carmen Sandiego title is clearly the less brain-taxing and involving program in the set. This bundle is best for children ready to take on challenges. Those that do will be rewarded with opportunities to stretch the brain in valuable ways.

Technically Speaking
Minimum system requirements are Windows 95/98/Me/XP, Pentium 166 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 27 MB of hard drive space, and 4X CD-ROM. Mac users require a PowerMac Power PC 10 MHz or faster, System 8.6-9.2.2, 16 MB RAM, 30 MB of hard drive space, and 4X CD-ROM.

Skills Covered
Problem solving, logical thinking, deductive reasoning, mathematical thinking, geography, history, science, music, art.

Educational Value
Varied and strong educational opportunities are offered in this set of programs that exercises critical thinking skills, teaches trivia, and involves children in complex story lines.

Entertainment Value
While the Carmen Sandiego title is rather light fare, the other two programs are quite hearty. Children who enjoy challenging adventures will find a lot to like about this set of programs.

Design
The programs in this bundle are all well-designed with strong help features, rather intuitive interfaces, and enough options and difficulty levels to create personalized experiences.

Replayability
Each of the three games in the set are content-rich. Kids who enjoy the challenges of the games will end up investing a lot of quality time in this bundle.

Dollar Value
The program carries a suggested retail price of approximately $19.99 US.

Released: 2003
Reviewed: July 2003