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Subtitled "Adventure on Pirate Island," Reader Rabbit's Math 6-9 begins as Reader Rabbit reluctantly joins his pal Sam the Lion who has entered his dilapidated sailboat in a race. With no rudder and a motley sail, the twosome quickly begins to trail the other racers. Sam suggests a shortcut, which leads them into unknown territory. As if that isnít bad enough, a tremendous storm ensues, shipwrecking them on Pirate Island. As the two begin to despair, Penelope the Parrot, an island inhabitant, comes to their aid. She encourages Sam to build a new boat, using parts that have been hidden around the island.
Users accompany Sam and Penelope as they comb the island, completing nine math activities and earning boat parts. Some activities are not initially accessible, but appear once basic activities have been completed. A printable certificate, awarded following each completed activity, also lists the userís earned points total, and gives him or her ever increasing nautical status.
Naturally an island bearing the name "Pirate" includes its share of the seaworthy thieves. In this case they also happen to be rats who fear that Sam and Reader are present to steal their cheese. They have a secret plan to keep our heroes from building their boat and leaving the island, and they will stop at nothing to ensure its success!
The nine featured activities do an adequate job of covering basic math skills in an interesting fashion. Of note is "Fishing for Numbers," in which the child uses the keyboard arrow keys to move a swimming Sam along a river. Sam must catch appropriately numbered fish (while avoiding those with inappropriate numbers) in an attempt to complete a "fish equation." One 3rd-grade reviewer summed it up: "It took practice to get the hang of moving Sam around, but then it was really fun!"
In addition to the story content and math activities, users can visit the pirate hideout where swarthy rodents sing pirate songs, an option that appealed, in particular, to our younger testers.
As is often the case, this program mixes basic math skills activities with fast-paced arcade activities. Fortunately, the creators had the foresight to include 3 arcade difficulty-levels, making the action more accessible for novice gamers. Even so, younger students will initially require adult guidance. In addition, six educational skill levels automatically adjust to let the program grow with the student and his or her skills.
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486DX/66 MHz or faster cpu, 20 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card.return to top of page
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