Interest / Appeal
How does an hour-and-a-half glued to the computer grab you? That's what our six year-old reviewer spent the first afternoon with the Quest for Patterns! Interestingly, the introductory sequence in the program almost turned her off. In fact, she would have quit, were it not for parental presence and encouragement. Why the turn-off? The first few screens are setting up the plot, and have no interactivity for the child. After she was engaged, however, she was very tough to disengage from the computer.
Zark introduces patterns in some atypical ways. In one adventure, the user has to help Zark rescue the melody maker from an evil, tone-deaf witch. Doing so requires the child to learn and demonstrate the ability to differentiate high and low musical notes, and repeat short note sequences. In another, the child looks at classical works of art that have been defaced, and removes the intrusive changes which don't match the artist's style. These are pretty neat challenges, and visually well presented.
Our kid reviewers really enjoyed this, albeit more so with parental presence. They were also occasionally bothered by synchronization gaps between words and actions on the screen, and a seemingly longer than typical delay between screens while the CD drive was downloading.
|Zark and the
Quest for Patterns
|Ease of Use||* * *|
|Sound/Graphics Quality||* * * *|
|Fun Level||* * * *|
|Long Term Appeal||* * * *|
|Educational Value||* * * *|
|KIDS RATING||* * * *|
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