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Reading Blaster Ages 7-8, part of the Blaster Learning Series, is designed to drill reading skills of students in the first and second grades. Best friends Max Blaster and his alien buddy G.C.'s contented lives are interrupted when Mumblers from the planet Nonsense invade, disguised as tourists. They're mixing up all the books so that people can no longer understand and enjoy them. Blaster, an avid reader, knows that this cannot be tolerated, and sets off to a stop to this literary disaster.
Kids participate in six activities that build reading skills and earn clues to the identities of the disguised Mumblers. Each time five clues have been accumulated, an opportunity to pick one Mumbler out of a line-up of almost identical tourists is presented. Here, students play an attributes game that allows them to eliminate tourists who fail to meet the criteria provided by the clues, and eventually zero in on the perpetrator. In all, 48 Mumblers must be identified to win the game and restore the books to their intelligible origins.
Skills addressed by this program include phonics, word order, sentence construction, reading comprehension, syllables, spelling, following directions, logical thinking and attributes . Although many of the activities do require good hand-eye coordination and ‘fast-twitch muscle’ skills, activities are ultimately conquered via correct responses, and not good arcade skills.
In addition to the above mentioned activities, kids can visit a special venue to print certificates, read stories, print word search puzzles, compose Blaster messages, access "B(laster)-mail" and view a star chart of their accomplishments.
Students were impressed with the fact that not too many trials are required to get to the attributes game. "I don't like it when you have to play forever before you can use your clues," commented one 8 year-old tester.
PC: Windows 95/98, 133Mhz or faster cpu, 32 MB RAM, High Color 16-bit display, 12x or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound card.return to top of page
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