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Ellie and her family have just moved to a new house in a new neighborhood. Luckily, she has brought her stuffed animal friends along to help her explore her new (and extraordinary) backyard. Whether it's really enchanted, or it's all in her imagination doesn't matter a bit. Either way, there's plenty to do in Ellie's garden, and lots of fun to be had getting to know Ellie and her best friends Bingo (a monkey) and Lily (a giraffe).
This unusual new game from Zowie Intertainment combines a plastic playset and small plastic figurines with an interactive computer program. The set plugs into the PC, or can be disconnected and used independent of the computer. When used as a computer add-on, the program begins with a short video introducing Ellie and her friends. As characters are added to the set, they appear, and their movements are mirrored, on-screen. When two characters approach each other they converse on-screen. Fun and fantastical surprises also appear as the characters explore their virtual world. In addition, there are 4 interactive activities that are initiated and controlled via the playset.
Three levels allow the game to change and progress as user's grow.
The program itself is easy to use, however program efficiency declines when more than one figure is moving at a time. This made for some uncomfortable moments when our testers attempted to play in groups. Activities became jumbled, and ultimately kids began to squabble about who was controlling the action. At times the program quit without any apparent reason -- also perhaps a function of too many different movements being detected at once. For this reason we do not recommend it for slower processors (166MHz and slower).
The playset and figures themselves are constructed of fairly durable plastic, however breakage is a reasonable concern. Repair information is available on the Zowie Interactive website (www.zowie.com), and replacement pieces can be ordered from their customer support representative.
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 166 or faster cpu, 40 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 1 MB Video Card, 4x or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, Available Serial Communications(COM) Port, PS/2 keyboard (or mouse) port.return to top of page
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