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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Freddi Fish 4 - The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch

Humongous Entertainment

Ages 3 to 8+

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
4.5
Ease of Use
4.5

Freddi Fish 4 Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Freddi Fish and her sidekick Luther are back. This time they're off to visit her cousin Callico in Briny Gulch, to learn how to raise hogfish. Unfortunately, upon their arrival at Callico Ranch, they learn that all her hogfish have been "rustled." Since the sheriff is out of town, Freddi and Luther rise to the challenge, and volunteer to find the hogfish and catch the rustlers.

Once again, Humongous has provided a visually captivating experience. The rich colors, flowing animation, and occasional use of "close-ups" provide what feels like an interactive Saturday morning cartoon.

Educational Value
Programs of this genre present opportunities for children to exercise their reasoning skills and memory of spatial relationships. Freddi Fish 4 users face a problem, and they have to use their powers of observation and exploration to resolve it. In fact, unlike some programs for young children which lead the user down a path of inevitability, users here frequently fail to solve the problem in their initial attempts. Parent reviewers reported, for example, several phone calls comparing notes between their children about where to find certain required objects or clues.

Somewhat out of place, is a mini-game within the program that offers an arcade-style, bubble shooting gallery. Although captivating to young video game users, it seemed to appeal to a different type of child than the rest of the program.

Kid Appeal
Our kid testers told us that they liked Freddi Fish 4 "better than the previous Freddi Fish title" -- no small compliment, given that they returned to that one often.

What did they like? They commented on the challenges involved, and the "random play" feature, which means that problems and clues vary when the game is replayed. Parents reported frequent laughter, and calls of "You've got to see this!"

Ease of Use / Install
Freddi Fish 4 installed easily on our Mac test machine -- in fact, since the program ran directly from the CD, no installation was required. (Note -- this is a very nice feature). For Windows 95/98 users, the program uses the AutoPlay feature.

Our testers found "ease of use" to be a relative term... Freddi Fish 4 is easy to use, in that it's based on a click-and-explore model. None of our reviewers reported a need to refer to a manual to get started. However, unless you are inquisitive and have a good memory for where you saw things (and how to get back there), you may find this program quite challenging. Interestingly, our parrent reviewers found the program to be as challenging, if not more challenging, than did an 8 year-old tester.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Freddi Fish 4 is a beautifully animated, captivating and challenging, exploration adventure. It's 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.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Problem Solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 90 or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, 256 color display, CD-ROM

Mac: System 7.5.3 or higher, 80MHz PowerPC or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, 256 color display, CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

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