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Typing Software Reviews

Mario Teaches Typing 2
from Brainstorm

For Ages 6 to 101

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Typing software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of PC and Mac versions.



Reviewed on:
Mario Teaches Typing 2 Screen Shot Performa 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
Pentium90 with 24MB and a 2XCD

Description
Mario Teaches Typing 2 is the updated sequel to its bestselling namesake. Utilizing characters and a style familiar to millions of Nintendo-playing children (and perhaps a few closet parents), Mario, Luigi and the Princess guide users through a progression of keyboard drills.

New users sign-in and are given the option of starting with a placement test, a step-by-step sequence of lessons, or simply selecting the level they feel is appropriate. The placement test is a timed typing exercise that measures speed and accuracy.

Users who start at the beginning move through three levels of typing difficulty: single letter, complete words, and sentences and paragraphs. Each of these levels is associated with a different Mario "game."

Ease of Install / Use
Mario Teaches Typing installed without difficulty on our reviewers' Mac and Windows-based machines. The program is intuitive to use, and provides easy access to help screens if new users have any difficulty.

Parents or teachers can easily customize the typing drills, by editing the letter, word, or text files which are presented to the user for parctice.

Educational Value
After every drill, an animated Mario provides results-based feedback to the user. "Oh-oh. We slipped a little bit. Let's get back in there and try real hard!" In addition to the audio feedback, every drill produces a results table, specifying words-per-minute, accuracy, and identifying problem letters. The program does not, however, recognize and suggest corrections for common errors like missing the home row, cap locks key on, or consistent letter switching.

Our reviewers, parents and kids alike, agreed that the combination of Mario game action and timed typing drills was sometimes distracting -- parents found the video game action distracting, whereas the kids said the same about the drills!

Kid Appeal
Children who have grown up with Nintendo will find Mario a comfortable environment in which to learn basic typing skills, and fun for practice. Among our non-Nintendo users, however, the attraction was weaker.

Best for... / Bottom-line
Mario Teaches Typing 2 is a solid typing program, cloaked in a Nintendo disguise. If the targeted student enjoys Mario or Mario-style video games, this program will create a typist.


See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Typing software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of PC and Mac versions.



Children's Software System Requirements


PC

Macintosh
Operating System Windows 3.1, Win95 System 7.1 or later
CPU Type and Speed 486/33 or faster 68040 or PowerMac
Hard Drive Space 2 MB 2 MB
Memory (RAM) 8 MB 7000K free memory
Graphics VGA Monitor 13" or larger monitor
CD-ROM Speed 1X or faster 2X
Audio sound card
Other Needs Microsoft compatible mouse

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