Title: Jungle Chess
Overall Rating: A-
Source: Edmark at http://www.riverdeep.net/edmark/
Playing Time: 10 minutes and up
Software Release Date: March 22, 2002
Cost:Call 800-825-4420 for pricing or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
7.5.6 or higher/Windows 95 or higher
Number of Players: 1-2
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: None
Subject Area: Strategy/Science/Math--Fourth Grade
Objectives: Explicitly Stated at Information
Website as follows: (1) Develop Self-Motivated and Goal-Directed Behavior
(2)Consider Alternate Outcomes and Points of View (3) Anticipate Obstacles (4)
Evaluate Results (5) See How Animals Use Strategic Behaviors (6) Examine Offensive
and Defensive Strategies.
Brief Description: Jungle Chess is actually one
part of a three pack of games. In Jungle Chess two players play head to head,
moving game pieces strategically through a playing board filled with obstacles.
As with chess or checkers players are able to capture each others' pieces in
order to increase their chances of winning.
Entry Capabilities Required: Basic knowledge of
the concepts of chess and checkers. Ability to use a mouse to manipulate on
screen game pieces.
Relevance to objectives: (5) This game is all about
strategy and animal hierarchy. These objectives are clearly met as the game
is very much a strategy chess style challenge. Players may only take pieces
of animals that are weaker, not stronger, than themselves, hence teaching players
of the food chain and power struggles of the jungle.
Strong Points: This
game is very fun! It teaches students about strategy and animal life while holding
thier interest in an intense game of 'chess.' Directions are included in the game,
making it easy for 'on the fly' referencing. It will run on computers produced
in the last eight years.
Provides practice of relevant skills:(5) This game
is all practice. There is no tutorial or videos, it's just play, play, play!
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: (4) This is
a game designed to teach, not a teaching tool trying to be a game. Bottom line
is it's fun, and the added option of playing against a friend makes it even
Likely to be comprehended clearly:(5) This game
is pretty simple. It's 'kill or be killed' as players manuever around the game
board. Not a great deal of room for confusion.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): (4) Actual
version comes on a CD. Demo is a simple mouse click installation and you are
ready to go.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than
chance): (5) Especially if one is playing
against another person. This game is designed to test strategy, and it does
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate
depiction):(3) Game does not play like real
chess. It's a very simplified version (each piece allowed to move one space
at a time). When a player takes a piece a cartoonish animal appears and makes
a sound that resembles the one that the animal would really make.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):
(5) After playing this game several times it evident that the game does what
it sets out to do. That is it requires players to use strategy to move around
the board and it teaches them about 'survival of the fittest.'
Clear directions for play: (5) All directions needed
for playing the game are included within the game.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
(3) The only debriefing that takes place is that you either win the game or
you don't. You just have to keep playing and trying new strategies to get better.
Weak Points: It is difficult
to find information on how to purchase without contacting the company. The game
is also a very 'watered-down' version of an actual chess game, however, this would
be appropriate for a fourth grade student. The objectives are not linked
to any standards of any kind.
Reviewer: Justin Johnson
Position: Graduate Student/Substitute Teacher
Date Reviewed: 1/14/04
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh G4 450, 512mb