SuperKids looked at four software packages for beginning readers in this comparison, and all were rated as good. But since their approaches vary, not each is likely to be as good as another for any given child.
Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey from The Learning Company is the most structured of the four. Built around a sequence of 40 phonics-based storybooks and associated skill building games, this one was most liked by parents looking for a complete phonics program. But it was not especially exciting to our kids reviewers.
Kid Phonics from Davidson is a somewhat less structured phonics-based program, that focuses on auditory skills. Our teachers found it less complete, but it was the most popular program of the four among our kids reviewers.
Reader Rabbit's Reading Development Library Level 2 also from The Learning Company, takes the unusual approach of letting the user select the storyteller's perspective -- from the eyes of the villain or the hero -- in two interactive storybooks. This is for more advanced early readers.
Wiggle Works, A Scholastic title distributed by Apple Home Learning, combines writing, speaking, and drawing with three simple interactive storybooks. This program has a number of neat activities, including text-to-speech capability, that are more likely to be discovered if you break down and read the very good manual.
Take a look at the ratings tables here, then click on the title of the software you are interested in to see the actual review.