Title: Jewels of the Oracle
Overall Rating: B
(note: This product was originally produced by Discis, a company that has since
merged with Dream CatcherInteractive)
Playing Time: Varies greatly depending on how fast
you can complete the puzzles that are included with this software. This game
should take a considerable amount of time to conclude.
Software Release Date: October 1995
Cost: $ 17.99 amazon.com
Windows 3.1, DOS 5.0, or Mac 7.1 or greater.
Number of Players: One player
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: None
Subject Area: Math/Logic with some some historical
and pseudo-historical relevance. This game's complex logic and reasoning questions
are intended for middle level students and older.
Objectives: To solve 24 puzzles based on logic
and reasoning skills to gain entrance into the secret crown city of a lost civilization
(reportedly located in present day Kuwait)
Brief Description: This is a game where you play
the part of a "Indiana Jones" type that would like to find and enter
into a lost city once found in the Middle East. To do so you must collect jewels
which will allow for you to enter into the city when all are in your possession.
Logic and reasoning questions that range in difficulty must be answered to collect
the so called "Jewels of the Oracle".
Entry Capabilities Required: Basic computer and
Relevance to objectives: 5 - Objectives to complete
this game are just as stated. The game is basically limited to search for the
question based jewels/
Strong Points: Multiple
solutions to some questions will bring back those who enjoy challenge of such
games. Many of the questions are very difficult and will definately make you work
to be successful. The graphics really are impressive for a somewhat outdated piece
of software. The movies included also brought excitement to the program.
Provides practice of relevant skills: 3 - Many
of the questions that need to be answered seemed covoluted and complex. The
questions that are asked are definately based on logic and reasoning skills,
but some students may become frustrated by difficulty of questions.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4 - An impressive
piece of software from 1995! The graphics and animations definately add excitment
and the story line will entice users to delve deep into the game. Some of the
puzzles also have multiple solution which will draw users back to play this
game after original success.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 4- This game
works the mind and is definately user-friendly. Some areas and puzzles can be
Technical quality (durable, attractive): 3 - Nearly
9 years old, this game may bore users that have grown up with games with more
impressive graphics, multiple scenarios, and artificial intelligences.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than
chance): 5 - Answer the questions and win
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate
depiction): 2 - I thought I would be playing
a game that could be used as an extension to a global studies classroom activity,
but this game adds very little historical relevance. Some background gaming
components show ancient Egyptian ruins, but nothing truly jumps out as being
useful in the historical sense.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):
3 - Took game to my classroom and had selected studyhall students play game.
One reviewer proclaimed this game was "wicked cool and fun", but the
reviews of two others were more luke warm. Each student complained of jerky
motions involved in game and difficulty of logical questions.
Clear directions for play: 4 - Included manual
explains the simple keyboard an menu bar instructions. Some questions may leave
players confused by what the question really is asking.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
2- Time constraints prevented students from truly understanding how this could
be used as an educational tool. Limited to no use in an academic setting
Weak Points: Age of
software has limitations and this game is not meant to assist teachers in most
Reviewer: Jon Cota
Position: Graduate student and middle level social
Date Reviewed: 1/14/04
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh G4 450; 512mb