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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Dr. Brain Action Reaction

Knowledge Adventure

Ages 10 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.5
Kid Appeal
5.0
Ease of Use
4.0

Dr. Brain Action Reaction Screen Shot System Requirements

PC Price Survey

Product Support

This latest entry from Knowledge Adventure utilizes a new genre of 3D graphics, to create an experience that is as rich in visuals as the popular gaming software but without the offensive violent material. As one of the world’s foremost scientists, the user has been captured by S.P.O.R.E. (Sinister People Organized Really Efficiently) a group whose ultimate goal is world domination. With the help Dr. Brain, the user must escape S.P.O.R.E.’s lair and thwart their dastardly plans. Exiting the bastion is not a simple task, however. Kids navigate a mind-boggling 3D environment teeming with dead ends, perilous obstacles and unforeseen setbacks.

Educational Value
This program strives to provide kids with the same sort of experience found in gaming software, but instead of winning through the use of violence, kids win by using their intellect. Brain-twisting puzzles require kids to develop and use critical thinking and problem solving skills. In addition, user’s must apply the principles of geometry, physics, mechanics and logic to succeed. Quick reflexes and a good sense of spatial awareness are also handy when navigating the dizzying virtual environment.

Kid Appeal
Our tester’s reactions were succinct: “Wow!” This one produces sweaty palms and pumping adrenaline. Utilizing a combination of mouse and keyboard movements to navigate and react, it requires coordination, quick thinking and patience.

The accompanying musical score adds to the feeling of urgency involved with the escape, but never becomes monotonous or cloying. Graphics are amazing, navigation is difficult to master, but fun and very realistic, and the storyline, although not terribly intricate, is appealing. As one parent tester noted, “The best part is that my kids don’t even realize that they’re developing important educational skills.”

Ease of Use / Install
Dr. Brain Action Reaction installs easily. The CD-ROM includes a detailed User’s Guide that can be accessed by clicking on the Help icon. We recommend, however, tackling the program without help until frustration begins to take over. Movement throughout the program is at first confounding, and requires good coordination, but can be conquered with a reasonable amount of practice. Likewise, the puzzles, although boggling at times, do not require genius, and the intrinsic rewards gained from taking on the challenge and succeeding make the struggle worthwhile.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This 3D adventure requires coordination, quick thinking and patience. Along with Rome, it isn’t done in a day. But it is, without a doubt, a fun ride!

See SuperKids' comparisons with other problem solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only title.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or better, Pentium 166 MHz or faster cpu, 100 MB uncompressed hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, PCI local bus video card, 4X or faster CD-ROM, Windows 95 compatible sound card.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium266 with 64MB and 12XCD
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