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102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue

Disney Interactive

Ages 8 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
1.5
Kid Appeal
5.0
Ease of Use
4.0

Puppies to the Rescue Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Puppies To The Rescue spins a new tale about the infamous Cruella De Vil, who now owns a toy factory. She is enraged by the unpopularity of her toys and blames their failure on children who are spending money on their spoiled pets instead of her playthings. What's a truly evil dog hater to do? Why, she reprograms her toys and transforms them into robotic petnappers!

As dalmatian puppies start to disappear all over England, Domino and Oddball decide to help find the puppies. In the program, young computer sleuths control the actions of their choice of either Oddball or Domino as they hunt through Regent's Park, Toy Store, Piccadilly, Big Ben and a dozen more famous London sites. Each different setting represents a different level with increasing difficulty. Puppy movements are controlled by the arrow keys on the keyboard (the Microsoft Sidewinder gamepad can be used if you have one).

The levels are littered with evil toys - the clapping monkey, a bouncy punching bag, and a radio-controlled roadster, to name a few, which try to harm the puppies. The cymbal clapping monkey always wants to clang those cymbals on a puppy tail or head. Gamesters can bark or tumble on them and cause them to break.. Each level has a different clues and tips. The user's goal involves rescuing puppies as well as trapping Horace and Jasper and ultimately defeating Cruella.

Educational Value
Educational value? That's a bit of a stretch. The closest our reviewers could come to assigning any, was related to the sixteen famous London settings (in 3-D) through which the adventures wind.

Kid Appeal
This was an unexpectedly seductive program. The package suggests E for everyone and the frisky, Disney-cute puppies on the cover suggest an audience with a young appeal -- BUT don't be fooled. One 13 year old boy kept "testing" it for us. "This is surprisingly good even though its kind of childish" he sheepishly admitted. Obviously he wouldn't play it in front of his friends, but he kept complaining that his 11 year old brother was "monopolizing the game."

Disney has struck the right combination without narrowing its age appeal to the sandbox set. The settings change before you get bored, the puppy's movements and exploration in any direction are totally under your control, and the minigames are a pleasant diversion. Puppies To The Rescue contains lots of goofy toys , critters, and characters mingled with enough varied and unpredictable activity to capture a child's curiosity.

Ease of Use / Install
On our Windows ME test machine, the installation was uneventful and took only a few minutes. Navigation through the program using the arrows and numeric keyboard was awkward at first. Reference to the written instructions was clear and most helpful. After bungling though the first level the controls became intuitive (sort of). Kids, however, have a much shorter learning curve with this kind of thing. In an odd way it adds to the challenge. The very young may find this slower to master and require some coaching.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue is a fun program and will entertain boys and girls alike. From an educational standpoint it has little merit, but for wholesome amusement with more emphasis on the quirky than the saccharin, most children will find this totally irresistible.

See SuperKids' Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium class 233 MHz or faster cpu, 50 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 16-bit color DirectX-compatible 4MB video card, 4X or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit DirectX-compatible sound card, [optional] DirectX-compatible gamepad .

Mac:
Not available on this platform.

Reviewed on:

  • PentiumIII 700 with 128MB and 24xCD
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