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spacer all reviews > > > reading software

Mia: The Search for Grandma's Remedy

Kutoka Kids

Ages 5 to 9

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

Mia: The Search for Grandma's Remedy Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

This interactive adventure features a likeable little mouse named Mia, and her quest to obtain the ingredients needed to make a healing tonic for her sick Grandmother. Grandmother gives Mia the last of her ‘sparklies’ and tells her to use them as barter for the needed ingredients. But just as Mia exits her Grandmother’s mouse hole, she is accosted by the unscrupulous Romaine Rat, who robs her of the precious sparklies. Now Mia must travel throughout the house, upstairs and down, inside and out, searching for opportunities to earn the sparklies needed to restore Grandmother’s health.

As she journeys, Mia collects interesting items which she stashes in her backpack for future use. For example, an innocent looking rope might be needed to lower Mia from the attic to the second floor, and who knows when a yellow comb might come in handy? And of course there are plenty of quirky characters around to help (and hinder) Mia in her quest.

Educational Value
Mia: The Search for Grandma’s Remedy includes 9 learning activities designed to support school reading curriculum in kindergarten through grade two. Each activity has 4 difficulty levels, making the game versatile enough for kids at many ability levels. In addition to the logic, memory and problem-solving skills used in the quest portion of the game, learning activities concentrate on spelling, vocabulary, phonics, word recognition, sentence comprehension and rhymes.

Kid Appeal
The story is cute and the characters interesting. Both seem oddly familiar, and yet refreshingly new. Graphics are excellent, and quite unique. Although not overly enthusiastic, our testers enjoyed their time spent in Mia’s world. “I especially liked the characters Mia meets,” reported one tester, while another thought the story was “perfect”. Many testers found the quest difficult and were confused about how to progress. They unanimously agreed that the information found in the User’s Manual is invaluable -- as one child noted, “It would have taken me three times longer to complete the program without the book.” Another young user added, “. . .the game isn’t any fun if you don’t know what to do!”

One of the activities features a gameboard which pits the user in a word game against the computer--a worthy opponent with no interest in ‘throwing’ the game for the sake of the child’s esteem. Although some kids were frustrated by the fact that winning requires more luck than skill, they were placated by the fact that even if the computer wins the child earns sparklies just for playing. “This is a good lesson in sportsmanship for kids,” commented one parent, “playing the game is what’s important.”

Ease of Use / Install
This two-disk program is easily installed following the instructions provided in the User’s Manual within the CD case. Also included in this manual are hints that help young questers understand how to navigate the house.

The program’s options screen allows players to choose one of four levels of difficulty, set background music and sound volume, go to a screen to play just the activities, and start a new game. Sessions can be saved by pressing F3, and re-loaded from the above mentioned options menu.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Because of the quest aspect of this program it is not recommended for kids with short attention spans, or kids who are easily frustrated. But kids who are tired of the sameness of other reading programs on the market might find Mia to be a perfect remedy.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or better, Pentium 100 MHz or faster cpu, 30 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 640x480 (256 colors) display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit sound blaster.

Mac: System 7.6 or higher, Power PC 100 MHz or faster cpu, 30 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 640x480 (256 colors) display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 48MB and 12XCD
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