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The Blaster crew is back in a new adventure, Spelling Blaster, with games, puzzles and drills that will transform kids into spelling bee champions. Blasternaut, Galactic Commander and Spot are vacationing on the Planet Islandia when they receive an urgent missive from the planet’s mayor. Ancient books are being stolen by a strange race of mumbling creatures from the planet "Nonsense." Mumblers can only grunt and mumble, and are stealing the books in an effort to learn how to communicate with each other.
The user must accompany one of the Blasterpals on a mission to identify the book thief. This is accomplished by successfully completing challenges that earn the duo a clue leading to the guilty Mumbler. Activities include rebuilding bridges, navigating underground tunnels, and climbing a volcano. Mission completion is rewarded with a certificate, while word list mastery earns the user a storybook with words from the mastered lists.
Spelling Blaster activities ask kids to recognize misspelled words, fill in missing letters to complete words, use context clues to complete sentences, and recognize that words have common spelling patterns. They also give students experience in proof reading and editing misspelled words. Spelling Blaster's large reserve of words ensures that the child will be experiencing new words each time s/he plays the game, and a built-in word editor allows parents and teachers to add words as they see fit.
Our parent and teacher reviewers were impressed by the "Spell Track" feature, which records the child’s mistakes throughout the game. "I look at Spell Track from time to time so I can tell whether or not (my son) is really benefiting from the program," said one parent. "It’s great to see that he has steadily improved his spelling accuracy."
Approval of the program theme and the Blaster characters also received inconsistent marks. Some kids were disenchanted by the intergalactic theme, and found the characters unexciting and the adventure lacking in pizzazz. All agreed, however, that the program improved their spelling skills, and contains plenty to challenge even talented spellers.
Program navigation is simple and straightforward. SuperKids’ reviewers were especially pleased by the ease with which a user can specify preferred word lists, a feature that customizes the program rather than relying on general levels of play to dictate the words that will be accessed.
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486/66MHz or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA graphics, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card.return to top of page
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