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Problem-Solving Skills Software Reviews

The Totally Techie World of Young Dilbert, Hi-Tech Hijinks
from KnowWonder

For Ages 5 and up

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Problem Solving Skills software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of PC and Mac versions.


Reviewed on:
Young Dilbert Software Screen Shot PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
Pentium90 with 24MB and 2XCD

Description
In The Totally Techie World of Young Dilbert, Hi-Tech Hijinks, the user joins Dilbert and his ever-present companion Dogbert in a series of adventures that require problem-solving skills. The first problem to solve, is simply finding the adventures!

Hi-Tech Hijinks' main screen is a view of young Dilbert's room. After a comical sign-in sequence -- older users are greeted with lines like, "You're older than color-TV" -- and some introductory banter in the room, the user is left to click-and-explore. It is through these explorations that users will discover four adventures: cleaning a virus from a PC, saving the earth from an approaching asteroid, finding some extinct dinosaurs, and putting some alien invaders back into a laptop computer. Each of these adventures has four problems to solve, and each of these have three different difficulty levels.

Ease of Install / Use
Young Dilbert installed quickly and without difficulty on our reviewers' Mac test machines. Our PC reviewers ran into a minor obstacle when they tried to follow the installation instructions literally -- the manual says to type "D:\INSTALL.EXE", but there is no "install.exe" program on the disk. Instead, our reviewers located the "setup.exe" program in the install folder, and encountered no further installation difficulties. One final note on installation; this hybrid disk runs on Mac, Windows95, and Windows 3.11, but NOT Windows 3.1.

Young Dilbert comes with just the CD jewel case insert for a manual. It's enough, but just barely. On several occasions, young testers (ages 6 and 7) had to ask their parents for help in just figuring out what to do. A manual would have helped, but their parents all reported solving their problems without one.

Educational Value / Kid Appeal
Will Hi-Tech Hijinks teach your child to read, write, or do 'rithmatic? No. But there is more to education than the 'three R's.' The educational value of Hi-Tech Hijinks is in the variety of interactive problem solving activities presented, and the captivating power the program demonstrated. Examples sound rather ordinary: tic-tac-toe, finding hidden animals, arranging shapes, catching falling objects. But the manner of their presentation made a difference in getting the users' involvement. "My 7 year-old daughter wouldn't leave the computer for two solid hours," noted one parent reviewer.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Young Dilbert's Hi-Tech Hijinks is a fun problem-solving skills program for 5 to 12 year-olds who have never even heard of Dilbert. And it's even more fun for their Dilbert-loving parents to help them with.

Educational Value= 3.5/5, Kid Appeal = 4/5, Ease of Use = 4/5

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Problem Solving Skills software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.



Children's Software System Requirements


PC

Macintosh
Operating System Windows 3.11; Win95 System 7.0 or higher
CPU Type and Speed 486DX 68LC040
Hard Drive Space 35 MB 35 MB
Memory (RAM) 16 MB 16 MB
Graphics 256-color SVGA 640x480 256-color 640x480
CD-ROM Speed 2X or faster 2X or faster
Audio Sound Blaster-compatible sound card
Other Needs No Internet access required No Internet access required

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