Problem Solving Skills Software -- The Big Picture
What do we mean by "problem solving skills" software? These are programs that focus on developing or exercising critical thinking skills by the user, rather than a specific academic discipline.
LEGO Creator: Harry Potter [for ages 6 and up] from LEGO Software, is a fusion program that melds the creativity inherent in playing with LEGOs, with the fantasy world of Harry Potter in a 3-D world-building exercise.. A challenging, if not difficult program to use, that's best-suited for patient LEGO fans.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [for ages 8 and up] from Electronic Arts, provides a video-game, exploration adventure extension of the popular book and movie. Best-suited for video game fans.
Scooby-Doo! Jinx at the Sphinx [for ages 5 to 10] from The Learning Company, brings the familiar team of adventurers to Egypt to solve a mystery. Beautiful animation, but a very challenging mystery to solve for young users.
Spy Fox Operation Ozone [for ages 7 and up] from Humongous Entertainment. Help Spy Fox save the Earth from the evil Poodles Galore! A fun and challenging adventure, albeit with little educational value.
Zillions of Games [for ages 7 to adult]
Over 300 strategy-based board games and puzzles, from Chess to Solitaire, on one CD. A non-violent, rainy-day winner!
Emergency Room 3 [for ages 13 to 18] from Legacy Interactive, simulates a medical intern's residency experience in a hospital emergency room. Students interested in medicine should try out the program, but beware of content limitations and 'attitude' quirks.
Arthur's Camping Adventure [for ages 3 to 7] from The Learning Company, is not only interesting and fun, it is also accessible to young users who may be frustrated by more complicated quest programs. It teaches kids about directions, using a map, developing strategies and thinking ahead. Users also learn fun facts about plants and animals as part of the exploration process.
Scooby-Doo! Phantom of the Knight [for ages 5 to 10] from The Learning Company, is perfect for kids who love Scooby-Doo cartoons, are experienced questors, and have plenty of time and patience. Young users, however, will need help with program navigation.
Animorphs Know the Secret [for ages 6 and up] from Scholastic / Infogrames, is best suited for children who already find the popular Animorph titles appealing. This is an audience composed primarily of boys 8 - 10, whose parents are comfortable with the good versus evil animorph combat element.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Action Game [for ages8 and up] from Disney / Pixar, offers 14 different shoot-em up missions for our hero Buzz Lightyear and his fellow Space Rangers, who must save the galaxy from the evil Zurg and his rotten buddies.