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Review CornerSoftware
ImaginAction
Rating: four stars
The Bottom Line
This innovative and fresh software will provide hours of entertainment for kids approximately 4-8. It does an excellent job of building creative thinking skills.
 
Ages: 5-10   Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Rose Studios
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
ImaginAction Product Overview
This program is designed to inspire imagination and creative thinking in children ages 5-10. It contains 5 activities in all:
  • In Kaleidoscope, kids can create their own kaleidoscope by placing little colorful shapes into a triangle, then watching as their own personal kaleidoscope comes to life. Also included are samples to look at, as well as a save/load feature.
  • In Snowflake, children create cuts to a "folded" paper then watch as their paper unfolds into a beautiful -- and unique -- snowflake. This activity also includes step-by-step instructions that illustrate how to fold a paper in order to design a snowflake away from the computer.
  • Gear Works involves paying close attention to verbal instructions. There are 3 levels (easy, medium, and hard), and naturally, the instructions become more complicated at the higher levels -- for example, they will use terms like "either/or".
  • Matching is a memory game that has 3 different levels, and all sorts of interesting twists. For example, kids must match sounds to sounds and words to pictures.
  • Color 'n Motion (see picture at right) is a simple idea, but children love it. In an interesting spin on the traditional coloring activity, kids use paints to color a picture that is shown in another frame in motion. As such, kids can watch as each color they add to the picture appears in the animation. For example, kids color a bird with a worm in his mouth, and the animated version has the bird pulling the worm then eating it.
The activities are quite appealing, with bright graphics and encouraging feedback. Many activities include a printing option as well. This title contains some innovative twists on classic activities — such as coloring and memory activities — that children enjoy.

The material presented in ImaginAction is excellent and helps to develop some very important thinking skills. The only negative comment heard from the child testers was that they wished there were more activities.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 3.1 or higher, a 486 processor or better, 8 Mb RAM, and 2X CD ROM. Mac users require a 68040 with 8 Mb RAM, System 7.1 or higher, and at least 2X CD ROM.

Skills Covered
problem-solving skills, creative thinking, logical abilities, attention, memory, abstract thinking, design and artistic skills

Educational Value
The activities do an excellent job of developing fresh ways of thinking and perceiving. Most activities are open-ended and encourage free play and exploration.

Entertainment Value
Kids will be attracted to the program's colorful screens and activities.

Design
Navigation is straightforward. There are adjustable difficulty levels for some of the activities, as well as print options.

Replayability
Children at the younger end of the suggested age group (and perhaps a bit younger) will return to this title frequently because the activities are fun and unique. However, older children (ages 9-10) will find the program to be a little short on content — kids complained that they wanted more activities.

Dollar Value
This program is selling for $19.95 US, which is an excellent value.

Released: 1999