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Disney's Dinosaur Activity Center acts on the assumption that every child who purchases the title will either have seen the associated movie, or have no interest in the story on which it's based. After an extremely brief and lackluster introduction, the user faces a chooser screen, which leads directly to the program's five activities. The characters are not introduced, and no attempt is made to establish a bond between the characters and the users.
The activities themselves are rehashes of familiar computer and/or board games. "Lemur Love Match" is (you guessed it) a match game, complete with music from the "Dating Game" television show. "Styracosaurus Spelunker" is a "Brickles" clone, "Iguanadon Pond-a-Thon" a prehistoric "Dots" game (see SuperKids' Classic Dots Game). "Line O' Dinos Puzzle Maker" is a sticker maker with a few twists, and "Colossal Fossil Face Off" emulates the classic board game "Stratego".
Despite this overall lack of originality, the activities do offer enjoyable twists. For example, the puzzle maker lets kids add bellowing sound effects, (including self-recorded originals), and create silly stories with a "Mad Libs"-type story generator. And it's hard to knock any game that successfully imitates "Stratego", one of the best strategy games of all time. Toss in some roaring dinosaur action, and even weathered classics can become pretty appealing.
Program navigation is simple, however the games themselves can be complex and onscreen directions are not always clear and repeatable. Our testers, therefore, referred often to the user's manual which provides more detailed instructions along with a few helpful hints.
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium class processor, 166 MHz or faster, 50 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 16-bit color DirectX-compatible 2MB video card, 8x or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit DirectX-compatible sound card, microphone (optional).return to top of page
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