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Memory Magic is designed to improve a person’s memory skills. The program presents a user with three games that may enhance memory – Silly Stories, Flash ‘Em and Follow that Dot. Silly Stories links nonsensical stories with pictures, so connections between parts of the story are easier to remember. Flash ‘Em challenges a user to remember images flashed in sets of ten. Follow that Dot requires the user to remember patterns traced by a bouncing ball. A character named Glo directs the user through the three games. By returning to the main screen, a user can play any one of the three games at any time.
Memory Magic supposedly improves a person’s memory from recollection of several images and one pattern to one hundred images and several patterns. The program targets users of all ages.
Follow that Dot challenges users to convert a path traced by a moving object into a single image. Developing skills in this area may prepare children for graphing and analysis of motion in physical science and physics courses.
Evaluating the results from this software program is difficult. Memory Magic does not include any assessment tools. Also, the value of the program is questionable – the software may develop memorization skills that are not particularly relevant to real world problems.
The software developers for Memory Magic may not have tested The Flash ‘Em game on children. When children must select the ten images flashed on their screen from forty or more images, they are likely to use a hit-miss strategy. Instead of carefully choosing the correct images based on their memory, they will probably click on every picture in the array until they find the correct ten images. The game would have been more successful if users faced a penalty for random guessing.
The program does not have many clear labels or heading to guide the user. Glo’s advice often seems out of sequence with the task at hand. His suggestions are not particularly insightful. Without adult guidance, a young user would not be able to figure out how to navigate through the program.
[Editor's note: Since our review in 2001, the program's publisher has informed us that "Memory Magic has been completely redesigned and reprogrammed." SuperKids has not reviewed any subsequent versions.]
PC: Windows 95/98, 486/33MHz, Pentium 132 MHz or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, SVGA 15" graphics monitor and card, 2X or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit windows compatible sound card, mouse and speakers.return to top of page
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