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spacer all reviews >>> problem solving software

Freddi Fish 3: Case of the Stolen Conch Shell

Humongous Software

Ages 3 to 8

Educational Value - 4.0 Kid Appeal - 4.0 Ease of Use - 4.4

Freddi Fish 3 Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Freddi and Luther, the finned-sleuths from Freddi Fish and The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds are back in another challenging adventure. This time, our aquatic friends arrive at the Founder's Day Festival, only to discover that the Great Conch Shell used to signal the start of the celebration has been stolen -- and that Luther's uncle is the prime suspect. Freddi and Luther -- directed by the user -- must use all their problem solving skills to find the missing shell, and then find the real criminal.

As with other programs in this series from Humongous Software, the animation is impressive, fully comparable to Saturday morning cartoons.

Educational Value
The educational value of Freddi Fish 3 is not based on improving the user's knowledge of the "3 R's." In fact, no reading, writing, or math is involved, whatsoever. Instead, Freddi Fish 3 challenges the user to keep track of the locations of various clues, and to assemble those clues into an answer.

How difficult could this be, you ask? After all, Freddi Fish 3 is labeled as being appropriate for 3 to 8 year-olds. According to our parent reviewers, they found the program to be as challenging to solve as their kids.

Kid Appeal
Freddi Fish is a popular character with children in the targeted age range, and for those several years older. Parents reported typical usage sessions of an hour, or longer, sometimes ending in frustrated calls for help when the child couldn't find required objects. (Hint: print out the "readme" file on the CD before launching the program -- it contains helpful suggestions.) Although Freddi Fish 3 provides multiple, randomly selected program paths (i.e. the objects are hidden in different places each time the program is run), most of our kid reviewers were not immediately drawn back to the program once it was solved.

Ease of Install / Use
Freddi Fish 3 runs without any installation, direct from the CD, on Macs and Windows 95 machines. Windows 3.1 users just need to be sure their machines have a couple of Windows files installed.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell is an excellent program for several children to use together. In our reviews, we found that children toward the younger end of the age range (3 to 6) needed considerably more parent participation, but that children beyond the targeted age range ( up to 10) were also interested.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1, Windows95, 486/33 or faster cpu, 0 (Win95) - 3MB (Windows 3.1) hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 640x480 256 color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound device

Mac: System 7.0 or higher, 68040/25 or faster cpu, 0 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 640x480 256 color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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