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Review CornerSoftware
The Land Before Time Animated Preschool Adventure
Rating: three and a half stars
The Bottom Line
Although this program may not be as educationally valuable as many other preschool titles, it still provides some basic skills practice and entertainment.
 
Ages: 3-5   Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Sound Source Interactive
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
The Land Before Time Animated Preschool Adventure Product Overview
Kids get the chance to "play" and learn with their favorite characters from The Land Before Time in this CD-ROM designed to teach basic skills to preschoolers. The goal is to collect various colored seeds by playing the six activities, as follows:
  • Spike's Scenic Journey helps develop navigational and planning skills as players direct Spike around various paths in the jungle, helping him to collect misplaced objects and returning them to their rightful places.
  • The Puzzle activity involves restoring a Land Before Time colorful scene by placing the puzzle pieces where they belong. On level 1, missing pieces are basic shapes, and on level 3, there are 9 piece jigsaws.
  • Littlefoot's Log Surf is an arcade-style activity that involves directing Littlefoot on his log through the water, collecting objects (letters of the alphabet, shapes, etc.) in their correct order while dodging rocks and alligators.
  • In Ducky's Leaf Drop, Ducky drops sets of leaves, and players must quickly count them and direct them to the correctly labeled dinosaurs on the ground. For example, Ducky might drop a group of 4 leaves, and there are 3 awaiting dinosaurs, labeled 1,2; 3.4; and 5,6.
  • In Sara's Creatures, creatures have been scared from their homes, and it is the player's job to return them where they belong, depending on whether they are flying creatures, swimming ones, creatures with 2 legs or 4, etc. This gives kids the chance to practice sorting and categorizing.
  • Chomper's Island Hopper involves leading Chomper to the last island by matching patterns and avoiding sinking rocks.
Each activity has 3 difficulty levels that kids can easily select for themselves and a printable certificate for successful completion of a level. Kid testers found the open-ended activities rather enjoyable and were somewhat motivated by the awards, as well as the collection of colorful seeds, to keep playing. Some activities required decent hand-eye coordination that intimidated the younger children (aged 3).

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98, a 486 DX/66, 16 Mb RAM (24 Mb recommended), and 2X CD ROM (4X recommended). Mac users require a Power PC with 16 Mb RAM (24 Mb recommended), System 7.X or higher, and at least 4X CD ROM. It takes up 12 Mb of hard drive space and is easy to install and load.

Skills Covered
counting, upper and lowercase letters, alphabetical sequencing, number sequencing, sorting objects, colors, categorizing objects, numbers, and letters

Educational Value
In comparison to other grade-based preschool programs on the market, this one doesn't contain as much quality educational content. Some basic skills are covered, however. There is a decent range of skill levels covered, although the arcade-style activities were somewhat challenging in terms of manual dexterity, not educational content.

Entertainment Value
Kids found this program to be somewhat entertaining, even one child who was not familiar with the movie it is based on.

Design
The program is easy to navigate and the levels of difficulty are adjustable.

Replayability
Kid testers enjoyed playing the program, but its long-term appeal is somewhat questionable. Kids seemed to tire of the program more readily than other new games.

Dollar Value
The program sells for $19.95 US, which is rather reasonable.

Released: 1998