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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Animorphs - Know the Secret

Scholastic / Infogrames

Ages 6 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
2.0
Kid Appeal
4.5
Ease of Use
4.0

Animorphs Know the Secret Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Animorphs - Know the Secret is based on the popular children's book series of the same name. Here, the Yeerks (bad guys) are trying to invade the earth during summer vacation.  The Animorphs, a group of seemingly ordinary kids  who have the extraordinary ability to change (i.e. morph) into various animals, are the only ones who can save the Earth. During the Adventure game sequence, users explore their surroundings, trying  to find out what wicked schemes the Yeerks are plotting.    Different puzzles are encountered along the way.   For example, in the water puzzle, players try to configure pipes and valves so that water flows between two points. To move to new levels or chapters, the game takes the user through different locations like the forest, the vent, the cavern, the mine, etc.   Action often culminates in a combat sequences with the animorph and the enemy.

Educational Value
Animorphs - Know the Secret tries to get players to be detectives - to solve the mysteries behind the shadows,  to unfold the story, to look for clues, to try to choose correct pathways to your destination.  One 9 year old tester stated that he found nothing educational about Animorphs - Know the Secret and that it is "... just a really fun game."   True, if you believe that education is limited to the "three R's", but here kids have to use some logic and observation skills.   Of course, all of this is done in the guise of another save the world from the bad guys - seek, combat, and conquer style amusement.

Kid Appeal
Kids in the 8-10 year range will love the seductive graphics and mystery element behind the story as well as animorph combat -- especially any child who enjoys the book series, since the interactivity of the program takes the stories one step further. Prior knowledge of the books is not necessary.   The program carefully details pertinent background information.   The characters are fairly consistent with the books.   One 9 year old tester who found Animorphs - Know the Secret fascinating, was a little unnerved that one character morphed into a different character than in the book series, but he still gave the program a 9 out of 10 and said he would spend his own money to buy it!   Of course the combat sequences were his favorites...

Ease of Use / Install
On our Windows ME test machine, the installation was without any problem. Navigation through the program was awkward using the keyboard controls.   Players really need to read the section on controls in order to familiarize themselves with the appropriate keys.   It is not completely intuitive, although our youthful tester claims he figured it out by himself and had a much easier time adjusting to the controls.  Old fogies (aka parents) will find reference to the written instructions clear.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Animorphs - Know the Secret says it is geared for everyone, but in truth the biggest pull will be to children who already find the popular Animorph titles appealing.   This is an audience composed primarily of boys 8 - 10 who have parents who are comfortable with  the good versus evil animorph combat element.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Problem solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98 or later, Pentium 200 MHz or faster cpu, 150 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, 16-bit color video card with 4 MB VRAM, 4X or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound card, Direct X 7.0A or better .

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium III - 600 running Windows ME, with 128MB RAM and 24x - CD-ROM
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