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Oscar the Grouch has engaged in a scientific underwater expedition. His goal is to find junk! When Elmo drops in for a visit, he is lured into manning a submersible to locate refuse and bring it back to Oscar's nifty underwater station. There, underwater 'treasure' is transformed into truly yucky things, sure to please the grouchiest of all grouches.
True to character, Elmo attacks his assignment with enthusiasm and dedication. With the user's help, he collects junky items galore. Along the way he also explores the his new environment, discovering shipwrecks and sunken cities, meeting interesting creatures, and learning about the hidden world that exists beneath the sea.
Five activities help kids learn about critical thinking, problem solving, using clues and observation, decision making, sequencing and memory, and cause and effect. Users join Elmo as he helps Miss Octopus plant her garden, assists Lifeguard Zoe in an exercise in deductive reasoning, matches deep sea creatures to their look-a-like friends, guides Grover's assistant Clammie to a sunken treasure, and rebuilds artwork in a lost city.
In addition, users are encouraged to explore, experiment and learn as they move around their ever changing underwater environment. And, of course, Elmo does his part to keep kids thinking about what they're seeing.
Our reviewers were, however, dismayed by the program's navigation. Kids must use the mouse to move Elmo around his underwater world. Although this might sound simple enough, it is actually quite difficult to control on-screen movement with the mouse, and many of our testers of all ages became frustrated trying to do so. Not only that, but to get to the five activities, users must discover them as part of the exploration process. There is no "site map" or "quick link" to the activities. Because of this, some of our testers were never able to access all of the activities. They tired of struggling with submarine navigation which had them moving around in circles seeking activities that were promised but seemingly unavailable.
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 166 MHz or faster cpu, 20 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, color monitor, 16 bit (thousands of colors) with 640 x 480 resolution, 8x or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound card.return to top of page
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