Here is an action-packed, arcade-style adventure that kids will enjoy with the added bonus of educational value and a decided lack of the violence that characterizes many video games for this age group. The graphics are very rich and kids will find themselves totally immersed in the visually stunning 3-D worlds.
The player, who role plays as a brilliant scientist, finds him/herself captured by S.P.O.R.E. (Sinister People Organized Really Efficiently) who plan to take over the world. Dr. Brain has been captured as well, and gives help along the way. Players need to first break out of their cell, escape the base, and ultimately thwart the sinister group's plot for world domination. Doing so, however, is not easy throughout the adventure, players are faced with puzzles that require logical thinking as well as application of the laws of physics, motion, and even geometry.
Kids use the keyboard and mouse to navigate the 3-D worlds, and are given a chance to experiment with this style of navigation before embarking on the adventure. Players should have few problems getting used to the controls. Plenty of obstacles and traps are found during the adventure, as kids commandeer ball cannons, fly through field simulators, manipulate electromagnetic fields, and a whole lot more. There are 45 levels to master in all and plenty of gadgets to use along the way. Dr. Brain is available for advice and instructions on each level. There is no shortage of action, including jumping between moving platforms, dodging rolling balls, and more.
The soundtrack to the adventure is quite fun, featuring a combination of techno and jazz sounds.
Up to 16 friends can play online using AdventureLink multiplayer capability. This is free but, of course, requires Internet access.
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, a Pentium 166 processor, 32 Mb RAM, and 4X CD ROM, and 100 Mb of uncompressed hard drive space. The program is optimized for the Pentium III 500 MHz processor, 128 Mb of RAM, and 24X CD ROM, and the graphics are outstanding.
physics, logic, critical thinking, problem solving, mechanics, geometry, spatial awareness, reflexes
This software game is filled with brain benders and various puzzles that require logical thinking and consideration of various laws of science, all incorporated in a game that has the feel of a video game. Each level is progressively more challenging than the previous one, and children are required to really exercise their thinking skills in order to succeed.
Players that are attracted to video game style adventure and action will especially enjoy the program. Testers were very impressed at how fun and immersive the puzzles were.
Use of the keyboard and mouse working in tandem may take a little getting used to at the outset, but with patience and practice, navigation becomes instinctive.
This adventure is content-rich, and should take some time to "beat" the game. Puzzle lovers will be motivated to work through the levels.
For a comparatively low suggested retail price of $19.95 US, you will certainly get your money's worth.