Treasure Cove is billed as a reading and science program designed to "engage the imagination and motivate learning." The program sets the user in the role of the "Super Seeker" who must find gems that have fallen to the ocean bottom to help the good elves rebuild a rainbow bridge destroyed by the Master of Mischief. Gems are found by shooting bubbles at orange starfish, who once shot, pose written and spoken questions. Correct answers result in increased light energy, and clues. These clues then allow Super Seeker to find gems and puffer fish which are used to plug holes in the ocean floor, and transport Super Seeker to the next level of the game.
Ease of Install / Use
Installation was relatively painless, with only one aborted attempt because we failed to notice the orange insert in the box telling us to set our display to 640 x 480 x 256 colors. After we made the change, the software installed an icon in our program manager, and we were ready to play.
Use was another matter. We finallly had to break down and look at the manual to determine the goals and the tools available to Super Seeker.
Balance of Fun and Education
This program has a rather high ratio of shooting to learning. In fact, if you shoot only red starfish (rather than orange ones), it's not clear that you would ever face a question. Educationally, the program presents a variety of questions involving basic geometry ("which object has four equal length sides?"), math, rhyming, and ocean life. But the program makes no attempt to teach any subject matter - it just asks questions.
It's interesting to see how far, and how fast the educational software market has travelled. Treasure Cove (CD) was highly regarded when it was released in 1994. Compared to today's software, it looks ready for retirement.
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