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spacer all reviews > > > science software

Base Station Safari

Morgan Media

Ages 11 to adult

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
5.0
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
3.5

Base Station Safari Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Base Station Safari invites the user aboard an ocean-going vessel for a trip into the open sea -- a journey as new and diverse as stepping onto another planet. Aided by an information-packed PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), the user tackles a variety of exploration and learning tasks. Successful completion of these tasks, or missions, allows the user to advance in rank from lowly Cadet, through increasingly prestigious levels, to Base Station Commander.

Educational Value
Base Station Safari is literally overflowing with information in the form of text, pictures, video, and audio. It not only tackles the fascinating world of marine life, it illuminates the user on a variety of subjects including boats (design, and function), SCUBA diving, ocean navigation, weather and more. Each mission requires the user to access and digest information on a number of topics, answering questions as appropriate in order to proceed.

Missions are selected from the Mission Control room, where a list of directives is obtained. The user must then travel to many locations on the boat, undertaking activities aimed at teaching specific information or skills. For example, as a Cadet the user must visit:

  • the Bridge to learn about maps and navigation and chart a course

  • the Bow to learn about and create different weather phenomenon

  • the Diving Deck to don diving gear and experience a virtual SCUBA dive,

  • the Biology Lab to examine and identify Bio Samples,

  • the ROV Station to launch and submerge the ROV and observe underwater life,

  • the Beach to learn about the intertidal and beach zones, as well as native fisheries.

Information, graphics and video encountered can also be added to each user’s “personal pouch” for later use in creating reports and multimedia projects.

Kid Appeal
Base Station Safari is an intense program aimed at the serious learner. Our younger testers were disenchanted when confronted with the program’s cumbersome amounts of text, and difficult to understand mission objectives, and even high school aged testers agreed that the program requires serious commitment.

Our teacher consultants were highly impressed with the content, and agreed that it would work well in a classroom setting as an accompaniment to textbook learning or as an extra-credit project. Although our marine biology expert found parts of the virtual activities to be “hokey” he also noted that the information provided was accurate and plentiful.

Ease of Use / Install
This program installs without difficulty.

Despite the publisher’s obvious attempts to make program navigation easily accomplished, it is an initially confusing and difficult task, especially for younger users. Furthermore, in order to truly benefit from the program’s impressive store of information the user must be a motivated learner, able to read and digest large amounts of text at a time.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This complete ocean sciences program will inform and enrapt the motivated user. It is not recommended for younger children, or those who cannot handle voluminous reading projects.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1/95/98, 486/25 or better, 2 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 256-color monitor, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Mac: System 7.11 or better, 68030 or faster cpu, 2 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 256-color monitor, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM.

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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