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problem solving software
This cleverly themed program aims to stave off brain-death due to inactivity. Eight puzzles and activities offer something for every brain: the first 4 strive to challenge the more analytical Left Brain, while the other 4 provide creativity options for the artistic Right Brain. The result is a smorgasbord of mind flexing amusement.
Each of the activities features a customizable set of familiar Nickelodeon characters, backgrounds, music and sounds. Strategy games are of the quick and addictive variety, with the exception of Nickinos, a dominoes-like activity which must be printed and played away from the computer. The creativity activities are similarly quick to master and enjoy, and include Nick character drawing lessons and choreography, and a Nick Toons-oriented 'Mad Libs' imitation.
The program's art activities are, unfortunately, a bit weak. The concepts are fun and interesting, but too easily mastered and too quickly exhausted. They leave even young users piqued but unsatisfied.
The lack of depth of the included games and activities may, however, prove discouraging to some users, especially those who prefer intricate quests or difficult to master programs. BrainBenders is much like the half-hour cartoons on which it is based, fleeting and fun, but a bit superficial.
Although all activities are explained in both the User's Guide and the "Help" section of the activity screens, our testers had trouble understanding how to proceed in some instances.
PC: Windows 95/98, 133 MHz or faster cpu, 80 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM (32 MB recommended), 640x480 display High Color Required, Quad-speed (4X) or faster CD-ROM, Video and sound cards compatible with DirectX.return to top of page
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