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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Action Game

Disney Interactive

Ages 8 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
N/A
Kid Appeal
3.0
Ease of Use
2.5

Buzz Lightyear Star Command Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Action Game byDisney/Pixar isn't billed as an educational program. And it's not. But based on our experience with similar, high visibility titles, we know many parents shopping for educational software will be encouraged by their children to purchase this program.

Buzz Lightyear is the story of our smiling, hyperactive hero Buzz Lightyear, and his fellow Space Rangers who must save the galaxy from the evil Zurg and his rotten buddies.

There are 14 different missions in this game. At each level players try to reach the final destination before the villain. Each mini-adventure usually climaxes in a standoff between the forces of good and evil before progressing to the next level.

A wide assortment of space ranger weapons are available - the basic laser, the plasma gun, rockets, icegun, proximity grenades, power shields, etc. Our space hero has the ability to run, jump, turn sideways, travel on a hoverboard, jet bike, and jet pack to name only a few of his impressive space ranger capabilities. Easy and hard difficulty modes can be selected.

Educational Value
None - pure entertainment value.

Kid Appeal
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is geared for 8 year-olds and up.   The keypad navigation of our happy spaceman is not as easy as one would think - using the directional keys can get tricky for children under 8.   One 11 year old said it was not that easy and he found it "annoying" but it was "o.k.".   This was a boy who enjoyed Disney's 102 Dalmations which uses the same type of  key commands to direct action.   Obviously there is a narrow window of appeal -- a child who is old enough to understand and manipulate the character while still finding Buzz appealing.

In our testing, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command had more boy appeal than girl appeal (even though there are evil gender neutral and female villains).   Some parents may not feel comfortable with all the "weaponry" even if it is in the intergalactic superhero motif.   Boys this age are frequently enamored by such things and the zanier they are, the more appealing. For example, one our young testers was extremely impressed with Buzz's hoverboard - "That's COOL!"

Ease of Use / Install
On our Windows ME test machine, installation was uneventful. Navigation through the program was frustrating at times. One user reported that, "I seemed to get stuck in computer no-man's land on several occasions where I could not exit the program or proceed with play.  This would happen when I was trying to begin or end and it wasn't apparent what I was doing wrong." The Disney Interactive website customer support staff was quick and helpful in their response to queries. (The user had inadvertently clicked on an option key).   Using the keyboard directional keys takes some getting used to and is awkward.  Gamesters should definitely scan the directions so they know exactly which keys are involved in play.  Obviously a gamepad controller or joystick attached to the computer would alleviate the keyboard awkwardness.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Young boys between the ages of 8-10, whose are parents not squeamish over imaginative, galactic chase and conquer games with a  light delivery and silly side, will find this amusing. Older children may think Buzz is too juvenile for them while younger children may have difficulty maneuvering Buzz with the directional keys.

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

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98 , Pentium class processor, 266MHz or faster or faster cpu, 160MB free hard disk space, 32MB RAM or greater, 16-bit color DirectX-compatible 4MB video card display, 4X or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit DirectX-compatible sound card .

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium 450 with 128MB and 24xCD
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