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problem solving software
Where's the Blanket, Charlie Brown? is a point and click, exploration mystery program. Linus' grandmother is coming to visit for a few days -- but she hates his omnipresent blanket. Charlie Brown says, "no problem. You can leave it with me for safe keeping." And so he does -- but it has disappeared! Your job? Help Charlie Brown find it.
Along the way, the user must collect clues and solve puzzles to advance. Most puzzles offer two levels of user selected difficulty. Although the overall mystery solution remains essentially the same with repeated play, these puzzles offer additional variety and repeat attractiveness to young users.
As with many other programs of this genre, a large portion of the educational value comes from the problem solving effort expended. Logical thinking and spatial memory are key skills to solving this mystery. Add puzzles covering listening skills, pattern recognition, musical memory, drawing, and mazes to the mix, and this is a reasonably strong program for young users.
Where's the Blanket, Charlie Brown? is fun, if not terribly exciting. The program employs moderate animation, in keeping with the comic strip characters. Lip synching of voices is marginal, but this bothered older users more than youngsters. Our young testers enjoyed the basic plot and action, and found the various puzzles attractive enough to request replaying the game, even after they had solved the mystery.
Where's the Blanket, Charlie Brown? installed without difficulty on our test PC. Users are given several options: running the program from the CD or installing all 430 MB on their hard drive (we chose the former); playing in English or German; and selecting a lead character, Lucy or Charlie Brown.
Program navigation is intuitive, and when new challenges are introduced, the program provides audio guidance. However, all of our testers reported that they ultimately had to look for at least some initial assistance from the "help" file included on the disk, to get started in solving the mystery.
This is a cute program, well designed for young mystery solvers. Snoopy fans (and others) will enjoy helping Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy find the missing blanket.
PC: WIn 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP, 166 MHz or faster cpu, 40 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, SVGA Graphics card, 4X or faster CD-ROM .return to top of page
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