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Social Studies Software Reviews

World Discovery Deluxe
by Great Wave Software

For Ages 8 to adult

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Social Studies software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.


Reviewed on:
Screen Shot from World Discovery Deluxe PowerMac 6100 with 8MB and a 2XCD
Pentium90 with 8MB and a 2XCD

Content
World Discovery Deluxe is labeled as "the fun way to learn geography." We asked our parent, teacher and kids reviewers if they thought this was true. Their answer? Yes!

World Discovery offers an immense amount of geography information that can be sliced by all the conventional methods. Do you want to learn about continents, countries, or states? Are you interested in major physical features like mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans and seas? Or are you working on every child's least favorite assignment -- to memorize the capitals, currencies, flags and independence days? Whichever it is, you'll find it here. One additional, nice feature is the ability of the program to pronounce the names of whatever it is you're dealing with, both in English, and in the local language.

Ease of Install / Use
World Discovery offered a reasonably simple installation on a Windows-based machine: insert the CD, select setup.exe from Program Manager, and answer a single question: full install, minimum install, or run from CD. We tried both the full install, and the CD only option, and had no difficulties. Installation on a Mac was equally simple.

Use was also simple -- we broke down and glanced at the manual for a good 15 seconds, and never opened it again!

Methodology
All the geography elements are map-based in World Discovery. The user selects a map of the area of interest, then the concept of interest (name, capital, currency, flag, etc), and finally one of 5 identification game types. These games range from the relatively simple, "match the country shape with the country shown in the map," to the challenging "put the states in the right place when no borders are shown." Our kids felt that this was " a lot better than studying a textbook or flashcards." Our teachers agreed, noting that "students can explore and discover or challenge themselves at their own pace."

Proxy Parent Value
Proxy parent value is SuperKids measure of how well a program captures a child's attention. For a child who needs or wants to learn geography facts, World Discovery scored very well.

Best for...
This program is a solid choice for anyone with an interest in, or need to know, basic world geography. With its student tracking option, and quizzes, it would also make an "excellent program to use in any school setting" according to one of our teacher reviewers.

Bottom-Line
Our teacher reviewers felt that World Discovery is "an excellent tool for enhancing and reinforcing the teaching of geography." Students can explore -- and learn about -- continents and countries, cities, flags, physical features and wonders of the world from a variety of approaches.


See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons with other Social Studies software titles, and the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.


Children's Software System Requirements


PC

Macintosh
Operating System Windows 3.1 or better System 7.0 and up
CPU Type and Speed 386 or better Any color Mac
Hard Drive Space none required none required
Memory (RAM) 4 MB 4 MB
Graphics VGA or SVGA (256 colors) 13" or larger color monitor
CD-ROM Speed 2X CD 2X CD
Audio Windows compatible sound card standard Mac
Other Needs



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