Problem Solving / Critical Thinking Skills Software
The Big Picture
Problem solving skills software has its roots in the Dungeon's and Dragon's clue collecting games popular in the pre-PC era of computing. With the proliferation of multimedia home computer systems, it remains a growing category of children's software. SuperKids' teams of parent, teacher, and kid reviewers have taken a look at some of the latest, greatest titles, and a few old favorites.
Take a look at the ratings table below, then click on the program names to read reviews of the specific titles. Click on "PC" or "Mac" in the price survey column to take a look at current market prices in our Buyers Guide. Or you can first browse the quick summaries below the table.
Escape from Dimension Q [ages 10 to adult] by Headbone Interactive is an exercise in problem solving disguised as a spy spoof. Best for an older child who likes long stories and is not easily frustrated!
Pajama Sam in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside [ages 3 to 8] by Humongous Entertainment, requires a keen sense of spatial awareness and a good memory as the user helps Sam find a series objects before capturing Darkness. Cartoon quality animation. Better for children at the high end of the age range.
Strategy Challenges of the World Vol 1 [ages 8 to adult] by Edmark brings together three classic board games. Pleasing graphics, clear instructions, variable difficulty levels, strategy coaches, and analogies to real world strategy applications make this a winner for younger and older kids. Oh, and you can't lose the pieces!
Strategy Challenges in the Wild Vol 2 [ages 9 to adult] by Edmark brings together three lesser known board games from around the world. Challenging games with all the same pluses as in Volume 1, but lacking the built-in appeal of games kids already know.
Darby the Dragon [ages 5 to 8] by Broderbund is another beautifully animated program. Darby is best suited for a child who is curious, attentive to details, and patient. There are no shortcuts to finding the hidden objects, and success requires a good memory and sense of direction
[ages 5 and up] by Disney and Pixar is an impressively animated, loose collection of problem solving activities tied together by their use of scenes and characters from the movie. This program is best suited for second-graders and above who have an interest in a variety of challenging problem-solving games, like tic-tac-toe, card games, and jig-saw puzzles. Younger children may find many of the activities beyond their ability.