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