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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Puzz3D The Orient Express

Wrebbit Inc

10 and up

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

Puzz3D The Orient Express Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

The Orient Express-3D CD is an engagingly fun and challenging puzzle involving the assembly of three cars of the Orient Express. The puzzle portion of the game was every bit as addictive as the real thing without the frustration of lost pieces or having to sacrifice the dining/classroom table to a noble, seemingly endless cause (Definitely a plus from the parent standpoint or those with a fastidious nature!) After completing sections of the train they are then transferred to the construction site and assembled on a wire frame. Many helpful extras like trays, magnifiers, snapshots, rotational tools, and more are at your disposal and aide in the assembly process.

In the next sequence of the program a gypsy fortuneteller narrates and weaves a mysterious storyline. She invites players to help solve a mystery involving various passengers as they investigate the interior of the train. A variety of audio, visual, and mental mind teasers present themselves in the form of the code game, jazz game, marquetry game, and the prophecy game. Players see brief animated clips of passenger interactions on the Orient Express which present clues to assist in solving the riddles. Historic tidbits about the train itself are injected occasionally. All add to the program's invitingly mysterious aura.

Educational Value
Puzz 3D The Orient Express not only reinforces the same conceptual skills of traditional puzzle assembly, it also infuses it with several deductive brain teasers in a very appealing, seductive package.

Kid Appeal
This program is rated for everyone and indeed it is appealing even for the younger set. Although one 10 year old tester was able to get himself started on the puzzle assembly phase with ease, the second sequence of the game was a bit too convoluted to hold his attention. Children under 9 may find this program too exacting, but it is a wonderful family project that has something to appeal and challenge those of every age and ability level. The puzzle offers a choice of difficulty level and useful tool options which help the player decide how challenging the puzzle will be. Even the easy level took a while to complete. A chronometer gives a graphic display of how the user is doing in terms of assembly vs. time.

Ease of Use / Install
Puzz 3D installed easily on our Windows 98, Pentium II test machine. It does take a while to install so allow more than a few minutes.

Puzz 3D The Orient Express is a complex program. However it offers the participants support with both a well-written user guide and provides them with useful optional tools within the program. These tools include: smart pieces (unmatched pieces resist each other), no rotation (pieces are all correctly oriented), presorting, no overlap, tray for sorting, three magnification levels, snapshots, and 3-D guides. Once the player familiarizes himself with these, navigation through the assembly phase is fairly intuitive and gratifying. Solving the riddles presented in the second phase of the program require the persistence of the truly inquisitive and may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This is a satisfying long term project which requires perseverance -- one that can be enjoyed by the entire family, a small student group on a rainy day with a few minutes of spare time, or an individual. Young children will probably find this most satisfying when working on it with an adult who can help encourage and prod them on. Puzz 3D The Orient Express is designed to spend a few minutes or an hour on and it keeps inviting you back.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or higher, Pentium 133 Mhx (200 Mhz recommended) 60 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM , 640x480 16-bit colors display; DirectX certified video driver, 2X CD-ROM drive, Direct Sound compatible. .

Mac: MacOS 8.0 or higher, PowerPC 120 Mhz (200 Mhz recommended), 50 MB free hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 640x480 16-bit color display, 2X CD-ROM drive.

Reviewed on:

  • PentiumIII-550 with 128MB and 32XCD
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