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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Extreme Yoiks!


Ages 10 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

ExtremeYoiks! Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Danger! The computer is malfunctioning. The screen appears to shatter. A test pattern appears, and the signal becomes scrambled. The computer's voice alerts the user to the cause of the distress. It's data munching bugs. Normally, they live in the recycle bin, digesting old data. Now the recycle bin has tipped over. Three-hundred bugs have escaped and are living below the circuit boards of the computer, interfering with computer functions. They must be stopped at once.

It's up to the user to move the bugs from their current locations back to the recycle bin. They are currently located in a series of 30 grids, along 3 paths, with ten grids on each path. The grids are maze-like puzzles. Each grid works in a slightly different way. Similarly, each bug is unique, with an individual combination of three characteristics (head shape, color and marking). As the bugs are set forth onto the grid, they encounter objects that can cause them to stop (a magnet), change directions, or unleash other bugs currently caught in magnets. It's the user's job to analyze how each grid works, through trial and error, deduction, and logic, and then move all the bugs through the grid to the recycle bin that awaits on the other side, a task that's much easier said than done!

Educational Value
Extreme Yoiks! is challenging for all ages, including adult. To succeed in moving the bugs through the many grids, users must use a variety of higher level processing skills including: logic, reasoning, experimentation, sequencing, and strategic thinking. The mazes, which work something like the old mouse-traps where one movement triggers another, increase in difficulty as the user advances through them. Some involve simple math, while others require intricate planning. Although kids are rewarded with advancement when they solve a grid, they do not need to solve every grid. They can also advance by replaying the grid often enough to get all 100 bugs home (this process is tedious, but encourages further experimentation).

Kid Appeal
Kids are drawn into this program by the interesting introduction, which features unusual (and intriguing) graphics. The grids themselves are intriguing, and initially simple enough for most kids within our recommended age range (10 and up) to succeed with varying amounts of persistence and experimentation. Our parent testers also enjoyed the program and commented that it works well as a parent/child activity. "(Yoiks!) really requires an open, inquisitive mind," commented one mother, "My daughter is much better at solving the mazes than me!" In like manner, teacher testers admired the program, commenting that it works well as a free-time activity.

Ease of Use / Install
Yoiks! gives users a choice of a full, typical or compact install configuration. The full option requires 635 MB free hard disk space, the typical requires 28 MB, and the compact installation requires only 4 MB free disk space. We chose the typical install, and did not experience any problems running the program.

Our testers were frustrated with the actual movement of the bugs (and other objects) onto the grid squares. Users must hold the bug over the grid such that the square that they want to move the bug onto becomes lit. This does not necessarily mean holding the bug over that exact square, most often the bug is held over the next square over. Needless to say, this caused much initial confusion and persisted as an annoyance.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This challenging, problem solving program builds and strengthens analytical and problem solving skills. While it offers fun for the whole family, it will especially appeal to maze and puzzle enthusiasts.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other problem solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95 or higher, 350 MHz or faster cpu, 64 MB RAM, SVGA 800x600 resolution, 16-bit video display, 4 MB Video card with Direct3D compatible 3D accelerator 12x or faster CD-ROM, Sound card and speakers.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium550 with 128MB and 12XCD
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