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Girls Software Reviews

Arielís Story Studio
from Disney

For Ages 6 to 10

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

Reviewed on:
Arielís Story Studio Screen Shot PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD

Itís hard to imagine improving upon the perfection Disney established with the classic animated movie, The Little Mermaid. Ariel's Story Studio may very well have done so.

This program is every bit as magical as its theatrical basis, and far more interactive and educational. One might imagine that with such an obviously winning story-line the programís creators would take the easy road, delivering something sweet but simple, and unoriginal. In this case Disney has done nothing of the sort. Ariel's Story Studio is anything but ordinary. It is delightful, surprising, witty. . .the appropriate superlatives are endless.

The well-known story is presented in interactive-book fashion, through a series of colorful screens, each of which includes written and audio narrative, and a clickable scene. Mini-activities abound, enough to keep young computer enthusiasts occupied for hours. A 'Make Your Own Storybook' section lets the child create pictures accompanied by text, while a 'Make Your Own Grotto' activity offers fascinating fish facts, and encourages the child to experiment with color and design while creating a virtual underwater world. 'Make Your Own Music' invites the user to join Sebastian as the conductor of a delightfully unique orchestra, and numerous ĎSing Alongsí bring to life the movieís endearingly well-known tunes

Educational Value
Reading enrichment and computer familiarity highlight Ariel's Story Studio' educational value. Red-highlighted words in the text of each scene can be clicked on to obtain a definition poem, explaining the meaning of that word. Each page additionally features one word in a box, which, when clicked, changes to another word that means the same thing. Exploration and persistance are rewarded, as the story continues to unfold each time the user clicks on a sceneís character. Characters respond differently with subsequent clicks, allowing the user to, in effect, customize the story with each reading.

Kid Appeal
If there exists a 'canít miss' pleaser, this is it, especially in the software-for-girls category. A joyful surprise awaits the user with every click of the mouse. Ariel remains fresh and innocent, Flounder adorably child-like, Sebastian cautious--watching over the entourage with concern, and, of course, Ursula is bad to the bone. Dive in, and enjoy!

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

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

Children's Software System Requirements


Operating System Windows 3.2; Win95 System 7.1 or later
CPU Type and Speed 486/66 or faster 68040 or faster
Hard Drive Space 30 MB 30 MB
Memory (RAM) 16 MB 16 MB
Graphics 256 color VESA, PCI or other local bus video 256 color video display
CD-ROM Speed 2X 2X
Audio 16-bit sound card
Other Needs Microsoft compatible mouse

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