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Girls Software Reviews

Anne of Green Gables Interactive Novel
from Renaissance Interactive Studios

For Ages 7 to Adult

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Girls software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of PC and Mac versions.

Reviewed on:
Anne of Green Gables Interactive Novel Screen Shot PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD

Anne of Green Gables, from a Canadian based company whose goal is "to produce interactive products that are distinctly Canadian," does a lovely job of bringing the well-known L. M. Montgomery classic to life for the young reader. Aimed primarily at the slightly older child, it focuses on the story's text and character development, with less emphasis on glitzy animation and activities.

Throughout Anne of Green Gables the screen features what looks like an open book. Clicking on the edge of the book's pages causes them to flip and a new set of pages to appear on the screen. Each set of pages includes easy-to-read text, optional narration, and a captivatingly drawn illustration. The user is invited to click on each illustration for a surprise -- to see its colors change, hear sound effects or narrative, or to see the graphics transform as the character of Anne becomes a live video, acting out a scene-segment while contained within the static confines of the original illustration.

Educational Value
Better than a book on tape, Anne of Green Gables emphasizes the beauty of the written word, while making it come to life for the young student. Each page includes highlighted text that links to the program's glossary, supplying the reader with richly-detailed background information about the people and places included in the story. All text is written and narrated in both English and French, a plus for bilingual readers, and nice introduction to a new language for monolingual users. Students who find the reading of classic tales an arduous task will be surprised at how accessible such an undertaking can be, and perhaps inspired to further pursue such reading adventures.

Kid Appeal
Although this program lacks the fascinating animation that tends to grab and hold the attention of today's child, it is softly and pleasingly compelling, the type of program that the child may return to again and again. Featuring a story that has stood the test of time, and including an agreeable musical score, it is the perfect counterpoint to the frenzied arcade games often foisted on computer enthusiasts. While some of our testers were disappointed at the overall lack of "interaction," it drew praise from male and female reviewers. "I love watching Anne come to life," commented one 7th-grade girl, and a 4th-grade boy said, "This would be fun to play with my 8 year-old sister, she loves this kind of program."

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Renaissance Interactive Studio's Anne of Green Gables lovingly presents the classic Canadian tale in a format that appeals to both the reluctant and the avid reader. Students with acting aspirations will especially enjoy watching the live-action videos.

Education 4.4/5.0 Kid Appeal 4.0/5.0 Ease of Use 4.8/5.0
5=Excellent, 4=Good, 3=OK, 2=Weak

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Girls software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of PC and Mac versions.

Children's Software System Requirements


Operating System Windows 95, 3.1, NT 4.0 System 7.1 or higher
CPU Type and Speed

Hard Drive Space

Memory (RAM) 16MB 8MB

CD-ROM Speed 2X or faster 2X or faster

Other Needs

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