Construction Zone is a simple entertainment game rated for kids ages 5
and up. The player can select from a fixed set of 4 or 5 scenarios and
operate heavy, tractor equipment to do such things as cut down and stack
trees to clear a path for an erupting volcano, or jack-hammer a street
to get to a broken water main. About the only interesting twist to this
game is that it comes with a dual joystick and miscellaneous switch
assembly which straps onto the keyboard. Joystick or switch movement
depresses keys on the keyboard.
The menu system is very simple with one main screen where the 4-5
scenarios are selected, at either a "novice" or "expert" level, and play
begins. The only character (voice only) is a blue collar sounding
foreman who provides a minutes worth of orientation at the initial
Construction Zone is principally an entertainment program with very
little educational value. The activities are very simple and quite
repetitive, allowing very little exploration or "what-ifing". There is
some initial two handed control - eye coordination learning which goes
on, but is soon easily mastered by a five year old.
This game might be better targeted for kids aged 3 to 5 rather than 5
and up. The novelty of the strap-on keyboard soon wears thin,
especially after the straps pop loose for the fifth time. The game is
soon mastered and with little else to accomplish quickly becomes
overlooked when it is computer play time. The graphics and animation
are simple and pale when compared to the many excellent entertainment
and educational games out there. Finally, there is no music with the
only audio output being the mundane drone of the diesel motor spewing
some realistic smoke into the cyber air.
Ease of Use / Install
The software loads fairly easily. The most time consuming task was
adjusting the universal strap-on joystick assembly onto our keyboard.
This took several strap length adjustments and the addition of the
included rubber extenders so the button actuators could reach the
buttons. This review would have been a little more complete if the game
didn't completely hang our Windows 98 test computer and force repeated power
Best for... / Bottom-Line
There is a wealth of well written edutainment games out there, but this
isn't one of them. Younger kids (<5 yrs.) who are really into big earth
moving, tree chopping, cement smashing machines may derive some
short-lived enjoyment from Construction Zone.