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problem solving software
This program features 10 time-tested board games, adapted for computer play. Included are classic versions of Backgammon, Battling Ships (more commonly known as “Battleship”), Checkers, Chess, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes, Pachisi (also known as “Parcheesi”, “Sorry” and “Trouble”), Snakes and Ladders (“Shoots and Ladders”), Yacht (“Yahtzee”) and Zen Bones (a simplification of Mah Jongg). Users can also choose to install “Hearts” and “Solitaire”, a preview of the Hoyle Classic Card Games program.
Each game can be played with friends, or alone, against one of 12 animated opponents. Options allow users to choose which adversary to face and whether said character will be silent or add a bit of levity to the game with constant commentary. Users also choose to play games at beginning, intermediate or advanced levels.
Unfortunately, some skills reinforced in board game versions of popular games can be lost when converted for computer play. An example of this is found in the “Battling Ships” game. When played on a board, children must call out bingo-like, latitude and longitude coordinates in their attempts to locate and sink their opponent's ships. In this computer version however, players simply click on a grid, never needing to use the grid for graphing coordinate pairs.
As might be expected, some of the included games are more easily adapted for computer use than others. Testers especially liked Yacht, a version of the dice game “Yahtzee”. “I liked that the computer kept track of the scores for me,” was one young user’s observation.
The accompanying guide includes game rules and gives a brief history of each of the included games. A help file for each game is contained on the CD, also explaining game play and rules. Despite this, our reviewers complained they were sometimes confused about the game interface. They also noted that game pieces were occasionally unresponsive, a fact that they found extremely frustrating.
PC: Windows 95, Windows 3.1, 486/66 or faster cpu, 8 MB RAM, SVGA 640x480, 256 color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM.return to top of page
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