Overall Rating: B

Source: The Learning Company

Playing Time: minimum time approximately 30 minutes, can be longer if you choose to do additional problems

Date: 1998

Cost: $24.40 for the 1998 version http://www.provantage.com/fp_21447 .htm

$ Number of Players: one

Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: CD-ROM

Subject Area: Mathematics Ages 9-12

Objectives: To improve students computational abilities in the areas of geometric measurement, whole numbers, fractions, decimals and interpretation of graphs, charts and tables

Brief Description: As you travel to different destinations, you are presented with mathematical problems. When you answer them correctly, you receive clues that help you eliminate possibilities from a logic cube of suspects, locations and objects.

Entry Capabilities Required: Reading ability, upper elementary mathematical reasoning and knowledge of how to use the mouse.

Rating: (1-5)

Relevance to objectives: 5 Students were
presented with a variety of questions in several different areas of
mathematics.
The program also provided opportunities to
advance to more difficult levels.

Provides practice of relevant skills: 5
The game gives you real life problems to solve. It answers the question
of , "When are we ever going to use this?"

Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 3
Although the program is initially entertaining, I think that students may
become bored in one area very rather quickly since the backgroung remains
the same for problems within a certain discipline.

Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3
Sometimes it is unclear what is actually being asked to perform.
Also, the characters are not always 100% audible.

Technical quality (durable, attractive): 5
The game was extremely vivid and eye-catching. The screens were very
aesthetically pleasing and there were a variety of screens in the
program.
Certain features allow you to take a closer look at the components of the
logic cube or a general layout of the map whenever you wish.

Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 5 To remove sections from the logic cube, you
need to have clues that you can only get by answering questions correctly.

Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate
depiction): 5 Once again, the examples pertained to real life
problems. The elements of the program were very realistic.

Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
results):
none available

Clear directions for play: 3 If the
child reads the handbook prior to play the rating will improve. However,
for use without the handbook sometimes the directions are difficult to
decipher.

Effectiveness of debriefing: 5 If you
answer enough questions correctly, eventually you will obtain enough clues
to narrow the logic cube down to one possibility.

Strong Points: The game is initially entertaining and presents
the user with a wide variety of mathematical problems. Receiving
clues gives students motivation to answer questions that they may want
to skip since the need clues from all different areas to complete the final
puzzle.

Weak Points: The program may become monotonous after more than
a few problems at each location. Consistent use of the program may
result in boredom of the user.

Reviewer: Mary Jo Lightfoot

Position: undergraduate student

Date: 2/10/99

Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.