Joriko has taken Lewis Carroll's classic story, and attempted to adapt it to modern media, adding music, a small amount of animation, and a variety of interactive activities for children. But unlike most programs of this genre, the developers chose to exclusively use narration, rather than some combination of text and narration.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a classic story, faithfully recounted, if in a somewhat abridged fashion in this program. Unfortunately, a large portion of the value of this story has been lost in the process of migrating it to CD-ROM. Graphics and animations created by the program's publisher now replace the creative mental images that conventional readers must conjure up when they read this wildly imaginary story. Although this might be a reasonable approach with many books for young pre-readers, here it left our young reviewers somewhat less than satisfied. One, a 10 year-old girl who had just read the original book, found the program a disappointment. "Nothing is the way I pictured it," she told us. "And the games and puzzles aren't very interesting." Another young reviewer, a boy who had not read the story, needed repeated parental encouragement to return to the program. "It's boring" was his complaint.
This story is really better read (or read aloud by a parent), than listened to on a CD-ROM. Our young reviewers were less than captivated with the program, and showed little interest in returning to it after initial exposure, even with prompting.
Ease of Use / Install
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is easy to use. It runs directly from the CD on a Windows 98 machine. Just insert the CD, and the program launches. Our reviewers, both adult and student, found program naviagation to be reasonably intuitive.
Best for... / Bottom-Line
Alice is a good interpretation of a classic story. Unfortunately, this particular title is one that is easier to understand and enjoy in its original text form, than as a modern multimedia program.