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spacer all reviews > > > vocabulary software

Word Adventure 2K1

WordSmart

Ages 7 to 12

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
5.0
Kid Appeal
2.5
Ease of Use
4.5

Word Adventure Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Word Adventure 2K1 is designed to strengthen vocabulary skills.  Over 1600 words are defined per volume of this ten volume set, along with the pronunciation of 5,000 words, all presented within a space adventure style graphics theme.   The program literature states that Volume A should be difficult for the average 4th grade pupil and easy for the 12th grader; so on up to Volume J which is aimed to challenge the 1st year college student and be easy for a Ph.D candidate.  

The program begins by presenting a group of 20 vocabulary words. A series of five different exercises reinforce the meanings of each word.   Flash Cards, matching, multiple choice, sentence completion, and laser review - AKA asteroid target practice, are the vehicles employed.

Detailed dictionary style definitions complete with derivations are included in the optional audio discussion. When a user successfully complete a level, which took our students 15-20 minutes, a new list of words with increasing difficulty is presented.  

Options include a human voice reading the printed material so students hear the correct pronunciation. Background music may be switched from the space adventure sound effects to classical music, voices only, or off.   The speed of the game can be increased, frozen, or decreased to allow individual students more time to respond and digest information.   The Talking Word List allows users to alphabetically scroll through the entire list of words included on the CD and listen to any individual definition and to advance to higher levels with a click of the mouse.

Educational Value
Increasing the user's vocabulary using a variety of repetitive techniques is the major objective of Word Adventure.  It focuses on visual, auditory, and typing cues.   Students are given examples of appropriate usage along with detailed definitions.   Explanations of various nuances commonly overlooked in traditional one sentence definitions are described.

Kid Appeal
Vocabulary can be a boring topic for children since it typically relies heavily on rote memorization.  Word Adventure tries to take a dry subject and spice it up with graphics, a target game (a favorite among our testers), a matching approach, fill in the blank, etc. However, it begins by offering a loooooooooooooong definition of the word that is more involved than most kids have patience for. Nonetheless, those who enjoy reading the unabridged dictionary for fun will find this section more interesting (or the user can opt to deactivate the audio discussion).

Word Adventure breaks the word list into short clips and reviews the same material in various ways hoping to make it less tedious while reinforcing meanings over and over and over.   Learning vocabulary is still a tad boring, but at least a little more palatable in this setting.   One 11 year old tester said, I don't like it - it's an educational game. I hate educational games, and it is too long!" But when asked if he would prefer to learn his vocabulary spending a comparable amount of time playing Word Adventure or doing the usual vocabulary worksheets, he did not hesitate in choosing Word Adventure!

Ease of Use / Install
Installation was quick and easy on our Windows ME test machine. Note: do not throw out that cellophane wrapping until you have copied down the serial number (which is not identified as such).  Otherwise you will not be able to proceed with set-up installation. Navigation through the program was intuitive.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This program is appropriate for the designated age group.  Teachers, parents, and homeschoolers should find this a useful adjunct.  It is too bad the user cannot visualize all the different lists of words included in each level of progression, or modify the individual lists to personalize them to meet specific needs.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other vocabulary software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98/2000 .

Reviewed on:

  • PentiumIII 600 with 128MB and 24xCD
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