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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Rugrats Adventure Game

Broderbund

Ages 6 to 10

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.8
Kid Appeal
4.5
Ease of Use
4.0

Rugrats Adventure Game Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Like its companion, Rugrats Movie Activity Challenge, Rugrats Adventure Game is based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series. Challenging enough to stump even experienced questers, this is unquestionably the better of the two programs.

Rugrats Adventure Game is like an interactive cartoon episode with cartoon quality animation throughout. The adventure begins with Tommy and his toddler crew gathered in front of a television, intently viewing the exploits of their favorite superhero -- the Godzilla-like ‘Reptar’. The children’s watch aghast as Reptar battles evil aliens who have been sent to kidnap Earth children and destroy our planet. As tension mounts, Didi (Tommy’s mother) arrives and disapprovingly intercedes, switching off the television and depositing the gang in a large playpen.

But Reptar’s mission is far from over, even after his action figure likeness is maliciously thrown in the trash. The resourceful ‘babies’ won’t rest until they have rescued him and conquered the aliens. The story continues to unfold, as the user moves about the Pickles’ house, making choices, completing tasks and solving games and puzzles. The entire Rugrats cast joins in, with amusing and challenging results.

Educational Value
Kids must use strategic thinking and problem solving skills as they work their way through the Rugrats Adventure Game. The story includes three branches, each involving typical quest techniques. Tools needed throughout the story must be collected and saved for future use, and exploration and motivation are key. Three levels of activity are featured, aptly called: 'Not So Tuff', 'Pretty Tuff', and 'Most Tufferest'.

Kid Appeal
Our kid testers offered mixed reports about this program. Some found it too difficult to enjoy, even at the easiest difficulty setting. "I got bored because (the program) didn’t let me move along quickly enough," was one 10 year-old’s criticism.

Those who excel at quest-type games and who didn’t mind a large initial time investment were more enthusiastic. In the older ages, girls were more likely to enjoy the program than boys. They reported finding the cutesy babytalking Rugrats charming (‘they say the darndest things’). Even parents admitted that the Rugrats were at their best in this program: "Sometimes even I had to laugh at their antics," confessed one of our parent testers.

Ease of Use / Install
Rugrats Adventure Game installed without difficulty on our reviewers machines. It requires Direct X and will install it upon user confirmation. The ‘read-me’ file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, also available for installation from the CD-ROM.

Program navigation is fairly simple, and well explained in the accompanying User’s Manual. Spatial orientation and navigation through the program’s 3D environment is more difficult, and may be frustrating for younger users. Also frustrating is the program’s general lack of story direction. SuperKids' testers were often confused about how to proceed to the next level of play. They became disappointed and lost interest in the game. Although a 'Rugrats Adventure Game Puzzle Solutions" document exists on the CD-ROM, testers were reluctant to consult it since doing so not only requires temporary termination of game play, it also takes much of the challenge away from the adventure. Those who did access the printable PDF file found it extremely helpful. An 'Extra Hints' section in the User’s Manual is also worth consulting.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Kids who like the Rugrats cartoon are likely to enjoy this interactive episode. Those with short attention spans may be disappointed by the required time investment.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 and newer, 120 MHz Pentium or faster cpu, 50 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 640 x 480 display, 256 colors, 4X or faster CD-ROM, Video and sound card compatible with Direct X.

Mac: System 7.5 or higher, 120 MHz Power PC or faster, 50 MB hard drive space, 9.5 MB RAM free, 640 x 480 display, 256 colors, 4X or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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