Title: Reading Blaster Grades 4-6: Mystery
Mode (New or saved Mystery) and Explore Mode (Levels 1-3)
Playing Time: No set limit, playing is
varied depending on player's skill level and attention span. There are
3 levels of difficulty which prepares students for standardized tests.
Date: 1997 Davidson &
Cost: $ 14.95 h
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: 486/66
MHz IBM-compatible computer with 16 MB of RAM, Windows 3.1xWindows95,
CD-ROM drive, 256 color SVGA video card, Windows compatible sound card,
Power Mac, System 7.1 or higher, 256 colors with 14" monitor, 16 MB RAM,
Double-Speed CD-ROM drive, and Printer (optional)
Subject Area: Reading, comprehension,
parts of speech, grammar, sequencing and ordering.
Objectives: Children will learn more on
reading comprehension, parts of speech, grammar while they are playing
a game and not realizing that they are learning at the same time.
Brief Description: This software is for
Grades 4-6. This program is designed to incorporate grades 4-6 reading
comprehension. The object of this software is to find the six most prominent
residents of the town of Bizzarroville that have suddenly disappeared!
They were last seen entering the mansion of the notorious Dr. Dabble. It's
up to you- and our hero, Rave- to find out what happened to them and bring
them back home. You have to find there personal belongings that they left
behind when they disappeared. They are in word traps all around his house.
When you find the evidence and the hidden clues, find Dr. Dabble's secret
lab and invention to rescue the missing people.
Entry Capabilities Required: Reading,
basic grammar skills, and comprehension
Relevance to objectives: (5) I thought
the program was relevant to the objectives to help students with reading
comprehension, parts of speech, and grammar
The graphics, animation, visual, sound, and color. It maintains interest
of students to want to keep playing.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
(5) Excellent practice for students on reading comprehension, parts of
speech, grammar, and sequencing and order.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: (5)
The games are easy at first and then become challenging. This software
definitely keeps your interest.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: (5)
Clear instructions, games and levels are easily accessible.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
(5) I thought that the software was very durable and attractive. I enjoyed
the graphics, sounds, and clues.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): (5) The game was dependent on
the student choosing the correct answer and gave the student three chances
to get the right answer. If after the three chances the student still did
not get the right answer, it moved to a new screen. It never told the student
the correct answer.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): (5) I felt that the software
was very accurate of its graphics. Dr. Dabble's Mansion was realistic and
very colorful. It looked like the inside of a real laboratory. I did not
want to stop playing this game.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
(5) The world's best selling reading series.
Clear directions for play: (5) Very clear,
straight forward directions, and easy for the students to follow along.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
(5) I liked the way that you could save your record as you
went along. If you were in the middle of a game and had to stop the game
let you restart where you finished. I liked this because it gives students
more of a chance to complete this software when they had the time, instead
of having to always start at the beginning all the time.
Weak Points: Some
of the vocabulary words are a little difficult but not to many. Over all
this game was very fun and exciting. Excellent software.
Reviewer: Amy Jones
Position: Graduate Student
Computer System Reviewed on: 486 IBM
Pentium, 32.0 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive.