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Playhouse Disney's Stanley: Wild for Sharks! is an interactive, animated extension of Andrew Griff's popular series of children's books. Stanley is an imaginative little boy, who is really into animals. Guided by his trusty pet goldfish, Dennis, he learns about animals, and some important life lessons.
In this story, Stanley's friend Lester is coming over, and Stanley has to put together a shark model, find Lester's playing cards, and find a misplaced sharktooth, all before he can play. They user's job is to help him, in a combination click-and-discover, and quest-style program.
Learning takes place along three dimensions in this program: spacial awareness, kinesthetic, and aural. As in all programs/games that have a quest element, Wild for Sharks demands that the user collect certain objects and remember where things are, in this case, in different rooms of Stanley's house. Unfortunately, Wild for Sharks makes this spacial awareness exercise more frustrating than necessary for the targeted age group, by having some objects appear where they were previously absent.
Recognizing the potentially novice computer skill set of young users, the program incorporates a click-and-explore style, which rewards the user with a mix of fun and educational elements. Some clicked objects will produce a hidden animal; others will result in a science factoid.
Finally, a large portion of the program's educational value comes from Dennis' replies to Stanley's questions about sharks and other sea creatures.
Stanley is a popular, lovable character for this age set. As such, this program has instant appeal to most. Unfortunately, our young testers found the quest portion of the program frustrating at times -- and their parents reported that they were of little help. So here are some hints: the user must play all the games in Stanley's room to find all the pieces to the shark model, and the model must be completed before leaving the room. All of Lester's cards must next be found, before playing all the games in the bathroom. Only then can the shark's tooth be found.
The program installed without any reported difficulties on our test machines.
This program is best-suited for lover's of the character and/or the topic, AND those children who have the patience for a quest-type game.
PC: Pentium 166 MHz or faster processor, Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, or XP; 32 MB RAM, 60 MB hard disk space, 8x CD-ROM drive, DirectX capable Video card with 4 MB memory, DirectX 8.0a (included), Microsoft Windows-compatible sound card, Mouse, speakers.return to top of page
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