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spacer all reviews > > > 3rd Grade software

The Clue Findersí 3rd Grade Adventure

The Learning Company

Ages 7 and up

Educational Value - 4.8 Kid Appeal - 5.0 Ease of Use - 4.75

The Clue Findersí 3rd Grade Adventure Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Whatever it is that differentiates a great program from a good one is present in ample amounts in this delicious adventure. It's educational, it's mind-expanding, it's entertaining and it's fun!

With a storyline reminiscent of an Indiana Jones adventure, Clue Finders 3rd Grade Adventures grabs hold of the user and refuses to let go. It features kid-explorers Joni Savage and Santiago Rivera, presented in Jonny Quest-like animation.

Joni's scientist uncle (Horace Pythagorus) has mysteriously disappeared in the rain forest. He was last seen in an area that has been cursed for over a thousand years by the hideous, animal-devouring monster, Mathra. To rescue Uncle Horace and return peace to the city, Joni and Santiago must find the keys to the Lost City.

Four areas of the rainforest are explored in their search for the keys. Users encounter diverse and quasi-familiar characters such as a quartet of Liverpudlian plants (John, Paul, George and Ringo?) who offer the questers items they will need in their travels in exchange for help. Movement through the four areas culminates with an in-depth puzzle that must be solved before the user can proceed to the Lost City.

What is the truth behind the Mathra legend? Close observation allows the clever student to deduce the truth before it is ultimately revealed. But beware, last minute twists keep the smug logician in check.

Educational Value
User's accompany the Clue Finders on a journey through a rain forest that is divided into four sections. Each section contains problems from a different 3rd-Grade curriculum area. Skills addressed include: multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, word problems, money, estimation, early geometry, place value, reading, vocabulary, parts of speech, life science, earth science, physical science, state capitals, reading maps, logic, patterning and sequencing, and problem solving.

Some of the activities illustrate a specific topic or skill, while others require prior knowledge and understanding of the topic. Animated coaches Leslie and Owen are always a click away to offer encouragement and help. Four ability-levels allow for users ranging in age from early 3rd to early 4th grade, and many of the problem-solving activities are complex enough to challenge a much older student.

Children who want to work on problems without travelling through the rain forest can choose the Practice Mode. This allows users to replay activities at will, without having to deal with the quest.

Kid Appeal
If ever there were a program that catches the imagination and attention of child and adult alike, Clue Finders 3rd Grade Adventures is it. It's like watching a suspenseful movie -- the user becomes captured in its spell and unable to leave until the mystery is solved, and the perpetrator(s) revealed. The story moves along in a smooth, even progression, with plenty of humorous characters and exciting surprises at every bend.

Activities vary in appeal from outstanding to fantastic. Our kid testers unanimously preferred the problem-solving/logic activities which teased their brains and challenged the best of them. "This is the perfect program for me to use with my child," was one mother's comment. "I was every bit as excited and involved as she was!"

Ease of Use / Install
The Clue Findersí 3rd Grade Adventures installs without difficulties on Windows 95.

Program Navigation is simple and straightforward. The 'map' option, which can be accessed by double-clicking on the kidsí floating companion LapTrap, is incredibly helpful when moving between the Monkey Kingdom, Jungle Canopy, Goo Lagoon, and the Lost City. It also comes in handy when players need to backtrack to earn more bugs, berries or 'snagnets' -- items needed to move forward in the game. Once a location has been visited, a map click will immediately return the user to that site.

Accompanying theme music can be turned off from the options section.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Clue Finders 3rd Grade Adventures is a fun adventure that shows kids that exercising oneís brain muscles can be a pleasure. Younger or less adept problem-solvers may need adult help.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other 3rd Grade software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486DX/66MHz or faster cpu, 12 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 16 MB recommended, 256-color SVGA display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card

Mac: System 7.1 or better, Power PC, 12 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256-color graphics capability, 13" or larger color monitory, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

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