advertisement

red line SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
free newsletter! spacer tell a friend! spacer contests
spacer
software
  reviews
  bestseller list
  price survey
  what's new
  product support
  search
spacer
educational tools
  math worksheets
  vocabulary builders
  hangman
  iPhone/iPad apps
  logic games
  brain food
spacer
educational insights

feature articles
spacer
marketplace
  iPhone/iPad apps
  reading corner
  movie corner
spacer
SuperKids home
  about SuperKids
  advertise!
  humor
  links
  help
spacer
  * * *

Promotions




  * * *




  * * *

spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Disney's Dinosaur Activity Center

Disney Interactive

Ages 5 and up

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

Disney's Dinosaur Activity Center Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Disney's Dinosaur Activity Center acts on the assumption that every child who purchases the title will either have seen the associated movie, or have no interest in the story on which it's based. After an extremely brief and lackluster introduction, the user faces a chooser screen, which leads directly to the program's five activities. The characters are not introduced, and no attempt is made to establish a bond between the characters and the users.

The activities themselves are rehashes of familiar computer and/or board games. "Lemur Love Match" is (you guessed it) a match game, complete with music from the "Dating Game" television show. "Styracosaurus Spelunker" is a "Brickles" clone, "Iguanadon Pond-a-Thon" a prehistoric "Dots" game (see SuperKids' Classic Dots Game). "Line O' Dinos Puzzle Maker" is a sticker maker with a few twists, and "Colossal Fossil Face Off" emulates the classic board game "Stratego".

Despite this overall lack of originality, the activities do offer enjoyable twists. For example, the puzzle maker lets kids add bellowing sound effects, (including self-recorded originals), and create silly stories with a "Mad Libs"-type story generator. And it's hard to knock any game that successfully imitates "Stratego", one of the best strategy games of all time. Toss in some roaring dinosaur action, and even weathered classics can become pretty appealing.

Educational Value
While this program does not actively instruct, the included activities allow kids to learn and experiment with color and pattern matching, memory, problem solving and strategizing, creativity, language skills, mouse control and simple keyboarding.

Kid Appeal
This program features movie quality graphics and animation. Dinosaur lovers, especially those who have seen the associated Disney movie, are likely to enjoy at least portions of the program. The appropriate age range is wide, and varies from one activity to another. Young users will be able to complete the matching activities, and create and assemble dinosaur puzzles, but they may find the strategy games overly complex. Older students, on the other hand, will understand and learn from the strategy games, and may even be able to persuade their parents to join in the action.

Ease of Use / Install
This program installs without difficulty. Two installation options are offered: typical install and custom install. We recommend the typical install for all but the most experienced computer users. DirectX is required, and the program checks for its components and updates files during the installation process.

Program navigation is simple, however the games themselves can be complex and onscreen directions are not always clear and repeatable. Our testers, therefore, referred often to the user's manual which provides more detailed instructions along with a few helpful hints.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This activity center will appeal to Dinosaur fans, but may be a disappointment for those who are looking for a retelling or continuation of the Disney story. The activities themselves, although not entirely original, provide an updated introduction to some classic strategy games.

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 class processor, 166 MHz or faster, 50 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 16-bit color DirectX-compatible 2MB video card, 8x or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit DirectX-compatible sound card, microphone (optional).

Mac: System 8.1 or 9.0or higher, iMac or G3 processor, 233 MHz or faster cpu, 50 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, Thousands or millions of color video display, 8x or faster CD-ROM microphone (optional).

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium550 with 128MB and 12XCD
  • return to top of page



    Go to: About SuperKids Educational Software Review
    Questions or comments regarding this site? webmaster@superkids.com
    Copyright © 1998-2016 Knowledge Share LLC. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy