Mario Teaches Typing 2 is the updated sequel to its bestselling namesake. Utilizing characters and a style familiar to millions of Nintendo-playing children (and perhaps a few closet parents), Mario, Luigi and the Princess guide users through a progression of keyboard drills.
New users sign-in and are given the option of starting with a placement test, a step-by-step sequence of lessons, or simply selecting the level they feel is appropriate. The placement test is a timed typing exercise that measures speed and accuracy.
Users who start at the beginning move through three levels of typing difficulty: single letter, complete words, and sentences and paragraphs. Each of these levels is associated with a different Mario "game."
Ease of Install / Use
Mario Teaches Typing installed without difficulty on our reviewers' Mac and Windows-based machines. The program is intuitive to use, and provides easy access to help screens if new users have any difficulty.
Parents or teachers can easily customize the typing drills, by editing the letter, word, or text files which are presented to the user for parctice.
After every drill, an animated Mario provides results-based feedback to the user. "Oh-oh. We slipped a little bit. Let's get back in there and try real hard!" In addition to the audio feedback, every drill produces a results table, specifying words-per-minute, accuracy, and identifying problem letters. The program does not, however, recognize and suggest corrections for common errors like missing the home row, cap locks key on, or consistent letter switching.
Our reviewers, parents and kids alike, agreed that the combination of Mario game action and timed typing drills was sometimes distracting -- parents found the video game action distracting, whereas the kids said the same about the drills!
Children who have grown up with Nintendo will find Mario a comfortable environment in which to learn basic typing skills, and fun for practice. Among our non-Nintendo users, however, the attraction was weaker.
Best for... / Bottom-line
Mario Teaches Typing 2 is a solid typing program, cloaked in a Nintendo disguise. If the targeted student enjoys Mario or Mario-style video games, this program will create a typist.
|Operating System||Windows 3.1, Win95||System 7.1 or later|
|CPU Type and Speed||486/33 or faster||68040 or PowerMac|
|Hard Drive Space||2 MB||2 MB|
|Memory (RAM)||8 MB||7000K free memory|
|Graphics||VGA Monitor||13" or larger monitor|
|CD-ROM Speed||1X or faster||2X|
|Other Needs||Microsoft compatible mouse|