Relevance to objectives: 5 This program
definitely stays focused on its objectives. Improving the user's
mathematical comprehension is the primary focus of each and every puzzle.
Provides practice of relevant skills: 5 For the age group that this software is intended for, the activities are very well planned out and age appropriate.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4 The program was very entertaining, however, prolonged usage may result in boredom.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3 It was difficult to determine what was being asked in certain areas of the program. If you did have a problem, you could always click on a character for help.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): 5 The screens were all very bright and aesthetically pleasing. The animation was done very well too.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than chance): 3 To earn the necessary points to gain new parts of the ship you did have to answer mathematical questions correctly. However, some of the segments of the game could have been answered by trial and error, resulting in the earning of invalid points.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate depiction): 5 Even though there were talking animals in this piece of software, this was completely appropriate for the age level it was intended for.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results): none available
Clear directions for play: Effectiveness of debriefing: 3 If the user reads the manual prior to playing they will most likely have little trouble using this piece of software. It is my opinion that most 6-9 year olds will not be doing this and that they will experience some difficulty understanding what is being asked of them in certain portions of the program.
Strong Points: This software tackles a broad spectrum of mathematical
topics geared for the age group that it intends to. Six to nine year
olds will definitely enjoy their time using the computer if they are properly
instructed on how to play the game. Most importantly, they will enjoy their
time while learning something.
Weak Points: Some of the directions are not clearly stated and it is possible to acquire points without using mathematical skills.
Reviewer: Mary Jo Lightfoot
Position: undergraduate student
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.