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Freddi Fish and her friend Luther are off to visit Coral Cove Park in this latest installment of the series. As in the others we have reviewed -- Freddi Fish The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Freddi Fish 3 The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, and Freddi Fish 4 The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch -- this is an exploration and discovery adventure, where the user must help Freddi solve a mystery. In this case, the mystery is a sea creature lurking inside the park that has delayed the park opening. Users help Freddi by discovering clues and solving puzzles.
Freddi Fish 5 requires curiousity, patience, and a good spatial memory. Users must seek and collect clues from various hidden locations around the park, meaning frequent thoughts of "where did I see that?" Red sea urchins, glass jugs, the mayor's signature and more. Listening skills, problem solving, and logical thinking are all exercised. Unlike many programs of this genre targeted at 4-7 year olds, Freddi Fish 5 is a real challenge; don't expect your child to sit down and solve the mystery in an hour. Or two.
As in the other Freddi Fish programs, the animation of Freddi Fish 5 is top-notch, approaching what our young reviewers call "Saturday morning cartoon" quality. Frequent close-ups, well-synched voices, and bright colors make this an attractive program. (Bad puns will keep older children and their parents either giggling or groaning). However, if your child is short on patience, this program may prove frustrating.
Freddi Fish 5 was simple to install, but unless your child has gone through the drill a number of times before, your assistance may be required. Simply insert the CD, press play, agree to the software license, answer the prompt to register (shich has a nice option to never see this message again), and the program launches.
"Ease of use" is an interesting concept with this program. Our testers uniformly reported no need to open the slim CD-insert manual that came with the program. Navigation is simple (point and click), and all instructions are spoken by the characters. However, solving the mystery is not easy -- in fact, one nine year old reviewer gave up in frustration, saying this was "just too hard". Other young reviewers with greater patience managed to make it all the way thru, after repeated efforts (and some collaboration).
Freddi Fish 5 is another beautifully animated, captivating and challenging exploration adventure. It is best suited for a patient and curious child who likes the click and explore paradigm. If your child gets frustrated easily, this program may be a poor choice.
PC: Win 95/98/Me/2000, Pentium 133 MHz or faster cpu, 20 MB free hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 1 MB Windows compaitble SVGA video card display, 4Xor faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound card, DirectX version 5.0 or higher (DirectX 8.0 included on disk).return to top of page
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