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$19.99 $17.97 list($29.99)
161. Educator's Choice Math and Science
$18.99 $18.64 list($19.99)
162. Dora the Explorer: Fairytale Adventures
$19.99 $14.99
163. Spiderman & Friends
$19.99
164. KidSpeak French
$16.98 list($29.99)
165. Hot Wheels Velocity X
$10.99 list($19.99)
166. ClueFinders Toy Store and Zoombinis
$79.99 list($19.99)
167. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume
$22.95 list($19.99)
168. Backyard Soccer 2004
$19.46 list($49.99)
169. Star Trek: Shattered Universe
list($19.99)
170. Backyard Baseball 2003
$49.50
171. Star Wars: Droid Works
$19.99 $18.80 list()
172. Disney's 1st & 2nd Grade Bundle
$9.99 $3.85
173. Math 2
$5.98 list($24.99)
174. Scooby-Doo: Jinx at the Sphinx
$9.99 list($69.95)
175. Encarta Reference Library 2004
$19.99 $19.84
176. Games Just For Girls 3
$19.99 $18.77
177. Disney Preschool Bundle (Pooh
$18.99 $13.95 list($19.99)
178. Nancy Drew Treasure In The Royal
$17.95 list($19.99)
179. Adventure Workshop 5: Preschool-1st
$14.95 list($9.99)
180. Reading Blaster Ages 7-8

161. Educator's Choice Math and Science Excelerator Grades 3-6
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008NRU2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 631
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Teachers agree: learning is easy when you're having fun. That's the spark behind Math and Science Excelerator Grades 3-6, the four-CD-ROM set of premium software titles combining amusement and education in one motivationally interactive package.

Stuffed with more than 130 individual lessons and over 100 games and activities, this educational suite for pre-teens delivers endless hours of exciting learning adventure, ensuring the acquisition and retention of intermediate, real-world meteorology, astronomy, and mathematics skills. Whether soaring through--and identifying--the clouds with their fearless feathered friend, Mango, or calculating a deep discount while bargain shopping, curious youngsters will grow with confidence as they immerse themselves in these challenging activities, which adjusts to their rising proficiency level.

Specific bundled software titles include: GeoSafari Knowledge Pad Math: Multiplication & Division (where kids master core mathematics operations while playing the colorful array of gently encouraging drag-and-drop learning games overflowing with photos, illustrations, lights, and sounds), GeoSafari Knowledge Pad Math: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages (which ramps up one's practical skill level while maintaining the drag-and-drop facility of fun-filled, sights-and-sounds learning), Mango Plumo’s Space Adventure (in which kids blast off in a custom-built rocket on a journey through planets, galaxies, asteroids, and comets to gather Cosmic Eggs), and Mango Plumo’s Weather Adventure (in which kids aged 5 to 10 are invited to explore meteorological phenomena as they soar up, up, and away with the help of a brave little red-winged bird and his mentor, the gracious Professor Funnybone).

World Meteorological Organization describes the package as "educative, sound, and very playful," and it bears the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval. ... Read more


162. Dora the Explorer: Fairytale Adventures PC Play Pack
list price: $19.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002YGHDS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 123
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Experience a learning travel adventure with Dora the Explorer
  • Valuable skill development for preschoolers, including colorful puzzles
  • Popular Dora songs from the TV series--perfect for singing and dancing
  • Classic storybook tales throughout Fairytale Land
  • Includes bonus Dora figure for kids to take on their own adventures

163. Spiderman & Friends
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006OC0VW
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Activision
Sales Rank: 1274
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

These aren't your typical pint-sized heroes!

Kids will join Spider-man and his friends to help those in need in this fun, interactive and educational adventure. Every activity will feature 3 different super-heroes, each with their own special ability. Children will practice basic pre-school skills in a fun arcade-style environment, while learning problem-solving skills and teamwork in a positive and constructive manner. Spider-Man & Friends features math, language, color and shape recognition with multiple difficulty settings for each challenge. Learning is fun and exciting with Spider-Man & Friends.

Six Marvel super-heroes featured:

  • Hand Glider Spider-Man
  • Crime Fighting Wolverine
  • Air Rescue Captain America
  • Skating Spider-Girl
  • Laser Blast Cyclops
  • Deep Sea Explorer Spider-Man
  • Each activity features 3 of the 6 super-heroes
Each super-hero can perform a special activity
  • Air Rescue Captain America can fly
  • Deep Sea Explorer Spider-Man can swim
Kids can practice math, language, color and shape recognition skills:
  • Math skills: Number recognition, numeral recognition, greater than, less-than, and very basic arithmetic such as addition and subtraction
  • Language skills: Letter recognition, upper & lower case letter recognition, and word/shape association
  • Color and shape recognition
Two modes of play:
  • Training
  • Challenge
... Read more

Features

  • Join Spider-Man, Laser Blast Cyclops, Crime Fighting Wolverine and 3 more of your favorite Superheroes
  • Explore vast maps as you help those in need in this side-scrolling adventure
  • 2 modes of gameplay: training missions or challenge mode suit different learning levels
  • Learning while you play has never been so much FUN: test math skills, language recognition and shapes & color identification

164. KidSpeak French
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001X6IJS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Transparent Language, Inc.
Sales Rank: 542
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • French language learning software for kids of all ages
  • Teaches over 700 words and expressions
  • Enjoyable animation, activities, and interactive games, puzzles, and songs
  • Award-winning software designed and developed by leading educators
  • Includes 12 printable activities and projects to reinforce learning

165. Hot Wheels Velocity X
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006C7EP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 867
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Put your driving skills to the ultimate test in Hot Wheels Velocity X. A criminal gang of racing villains is wreaking havoc in Monument City, and your racing skills are needed to restore order. Suit up for action and then take the wheel in 30 treacherous missions with six huge levels. Choose from more than 45 authentic 3-D Hot Wheels cars to unlock and drive. Do whatever it takes to crush your rivals and complete the mission: combine cool cars, speed through huge loops, catch big air off a jump, find hidden shortcuts, or run 'em off the road--all in a 3-D Hot Wheels world. Blow the enemy away with more than 15 power-ups. Then challenge a friend in one of three different multiplayer modes: head-to-head racing, Hot Wheels battle mode, and stunt challenge. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best destruction derby of all!
I bought this game because I played it at a friends house. At the time, we never did any more than drag race or battle, so I didn't really enjoy the game. Now, however, I have played every mode and can tell you all about it:

Battle-A fierce destruction derby where you must meet your quota by disabling opponents

Drag Race-Race on a stretch of track and be the first to get to the finish! Note:This is not a "laps" race. It is a "Point A to Point B" type of race if you know what I mean.

Challenge-Test your skills on a challenge. Earn Cars, Tracks, amd Weapons!

Joyride-Drive around the big city and collect gears or the golden key to earn new cars!

Adventure-Complete tasks in the correct order to win cars and even new joyride levels!

5-0 out of 5 stars Howheels > Not Matchbox <
Here is a game for the what remains of that elusive spark left in all of us, known as childhood, that will satisfy, at the same time, even the most avid/hardcore fan of the genre. This tripe with the missions, however, I personally find to be somewhat lacking -- I mean, who cares about a storyline when there are vehicles to blow up -- the explosions are truly killer diller by the way -- several choices regarding automobile make-overs, paint-jobs, and other items with which to accesserize -- leave the average player wondering why his or her coin-purse is now somewhat lighter ... Maybe you should buy another game instead.
All in all a fun spree, I must say, but not enough action. Pocket Toys, anyone ??

5-0 out of 5 stars super
Hot wheels are the answer to chlidren who love excitement and fast moving action in the viedo's. I can't pull them away. Keep up the great work. This is a huge jump from a parent who use to play with the race tracks 30 years ago as a kid in the dirt.

Thank-you
Tom Bailey ... Read more


166. ClueFinders Toy Store and Zoombinis Logical Journey
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008IOWY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 287
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (65)

4-0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love this game...
I was introduced to this game while helping out in an elementary school computer class (yeah, I'm technically a grown-up). It's an engaging way to teach logic skills, and the puzzles are a lot of fun. I agree that there are a LOT of Zoombinis to save (the purpose of the game)and that once you've mastered the higher levels it's a bit tedious to keep playing the harder versions of the puzzles, especially if there are any you don't like to begin with.

On the other hand, this game is wonderful for a variety of age groups (some of the younger kids may need some help figuring out the logic behind the puzzles), for different ethnicities (the Zoombinis are blue), and genders (most of the characters are somewhat ambiguous on gender, and the Zoombinis are all equal). I've seen it played solo, and in groups, with equally enjoyable results. And there are a number of resources available for educators, parents, etc. to help your kids make meaning from the games they are playing.

All in all, this is a must for any elementary/middle school computer educator, and a highly recommended for parents who want their kids to use computers as a tool as well as a toy.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best logic games, all in a fun package
I'm a 13-year-old boy, I loved Zoombinis ever since it came out about 7 years ago, and I still love it now. Zoombinis is a great education game, it teaches logic and mathematical skills essential to learn, and also lets children (and adults) have fun while doing it.

Zoombinis is set apart from so many other logic games by adding characters that are enjoyable and funny to a 2nd grader, while not being so annoying or childish that a 7th grader cannot enjoy or laugh at them as well.

Another way Zoombinis excels is in the way it adjusts to the user's ability. The game will start out easy and teach more simplistic concepts, and after the user is comfortable with that, it will move on to more complex problems.

A nice thing about this game is that it will encourage someone to learn and keep going. It can all happen because the game is both educational and fun, and the child will get a sort of self-satisfaction when they accomplish something. Whenever a puzzle is completed, the user gets a little bit closer to the goal of saving all the Zoombinis, and this gives them something to work for.

Zoombinis consists of 12 different puzzles for the user to go thru, and one of the factors that have made it so successful is how it makes the user actually think. Instead of letting you just guess the answers, Zoombinis has you think about why a certain answer does or doesn't work, then lets you come up with some sort of practical method to solve such problems, which can later be applied to more advanced levels of education (I am currently taking geometry, and I still use many of the methods I learned here to help me solve problems).

In all, Zoombinis is one of the most valuable and fun game (educational or not) that I have ever used. It is a great product, and I would certainly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Game, but just a little hard
I got this game with a multipack and it rocks!!! But just kind of a little hard but I like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars My kids loved it!
Not only fun but a great logic builder! The best peice of software I've bought for my kids!

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great surprise!
We love this game! When I was searching for new games for my girls, 8 & 11, I came across this game, but made the mistake of not ordering it. One day, my daughter came home from her computer class and raved about this game - I ordered the Logical Journey and Mountain Rescue...I am so glad that I did. My 8 year old and I enjoy playing Logical Journey together - its a little more basic and easier for her to understand. My older daughter prefers the Mountain Rescue - the graphics are a little more advanced and she enjoys the games more. I would recommend these games to anyone looking for fun, safe, and mentally challenging entertainment! ... Read more


167. Magic School Bus 3-CD Pack Volume 1
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009XFRF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 1786
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Travel to exotic locales with Ms. Frizzle and the gang
  • 3 educational games: Animals, Bugs, and Rainforest
  • Ages 5 - 10

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars $16.99, That's All?
Three selections for $16.99!! Not a better bargain out there! Parents this is a steal... Your kids will have you wanting to learn while they explore these three selections. Promise you!

Whales, dolphins, volcanoes and Mars? Turn of the Cartoon Network and turn on your kids to something worthwhile!! You won't be sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Microsoft
I'd like to preface this by stating that my 6-year-old plays this package daily - after his homework. He installed it by himself, so my opinion is that those who say it's difficult to install need to look at their system resources. He loves the graphics, sound and the activities. I once read a review that this package is not user-friendly and I say, baloney. I say this because he doesn't ask for assistance when using this software. All he complains about is not having all the MSB titles. There is no main menu to show you how to navigate through the CD and many of the screens do not feature an "Exit" icon to allow you to exit the program or return to the main menu, but who cares? I want my six year old to figure out these functions for himself anyway.

He is not very PC-savvy but he knows the basics of PC's. And, he does use other software easily. I wonder if some of these negative reviews are making mountains out of molehills. I'm know I'm not overlooking something obvious here - so what's the problem?

1-0 out of 5 stars obsolete software that doesn't work with win2k
these seem like very old titles, written for win/3.1 and possibly working on win/95, but incompatible with the modern microsoft operating systems. out of 3 titles, two failed to install on my child's win2k system at all. one installed, but didn't function right. its graphics are the 10 year old primitive 256 color 640x480 VGA, 2-dimensional and flat. the game's audio wouldn't turn on. i can only guess that the other 2 titles were even more antique. a major dissapointment, because science related titles for small kids are so rare and hard to find!

i have encountered other children's titles that were poorly written for win/3.1 or older versions of windows, and hadn't been updated in 10 years, which wouldn't install or run right under win2k, but these are titles published by microsoft itself!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars great games
i ordered all the bonus packs (6 total software titles). and my 5 year old son loves them. they entertain him for hours. so much learning and fun on so many subjects! i highly recommend them.
that said, lets get on the the technical part. i had a lot of trouble getting them to install. some of them froze up. some of them wont autorun. and the Animals one we have never been able to play at all. it is like it "half installed". says it is there in programs. but wont open no matter what. so try to uninstall or reinstall and that wont work either. i have sent it back to the manufacturer and havent heard from them yet. my computer is almost 2 years old with windows ME and lots of ram, memory, big hard drive. and even some graphic upgrades done recently. even tried it on someone else's comp with same results.
but i still say the problems i am having are worth the fun my son is having with 5 games. and he doesnt even know there is a 6th game he hasnt been able to try yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is how learning should be - FUN!
Our 5 yr. old son plays these games for HOURS (if we let him). He loves them so much that "computer time" has become a treat for him when he has earned a reward. These cds are packed with great information, which is presented in lots of fun and challenging games. Even "Dad" enjoys them. AND they are not as annoying/loud/hyper as many of the computer games that we have come across. You will be amazed how fast and how much your child will learn! ... Read more


168. Backyard Soccer 2004
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007B77W
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 120
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Create the soccer team of your dreams with the Backyard Kids and the pros as kids. Backyard Soccer 2004 teams up with Major League Soccer to bring you kid versions of goal-scoring, hard-kicking, tough-running players, and puts you in control of the nonstop action. Create team lineups, customize teams, then take the field to play quick games, single games, or a whole season. Junior versions of pro players include Landon Donovan, Clint Mathis, Cobi Jones, and Brandi Chastain. It's the chance of a lifetime to play with the pros in your own backyard. ... Read more

Features

  • Play soccer with the pros as kids, including Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones
  • Choose from all 10 Major League Soccer teams
  • Play quick games, single games, or a whole season
  • Includes 4 new fields
  • Track player and team stats

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another awesome upgrade to the already great series!
I have seen and played many demos and have read tons of reviews on this product.

I have been a fan of this Junior Sports series since the very first original Backyard Baseball came out. I own 2 of the 3 baseball editions, both of the football versions, my brothers have both of the soccer editions, and we also have Backyard Basketball.

From what I've seen and read this is another great additon to any of your collections of these games. The gameplay is smooth, the graphics are stunning, there are EVEN MORE gamplay options than in BYB 2001, the MLB kids faces are very believable, the players ability to play is slightly exaggerated but hey, that's what makes it so fun.

Being a big fan and player of baseball I follow the majors like nothing else. For that reason I noticed the ratings (Running, Pitching, Fielding, and Hitting) on the players to be slightly off. But if that's the only problem, that's an extremely small sacrifice to make when buying this game.

This game is worth every penny you spend on it. I recommend this game for fans and non-fans of all ages.

The levels of difficulty are set very well for people that play it. I do wish though that they would add an extra "Major League" level of play for us older guys that are looking for some challenging opponents.

I haven't tried online play yet but I'm sure you would find some more challenging people to play against.

This series is getting better with every game and should soon become one of the top sports games on the market. I hope that soon they will expand their games and come out with Backyard Baseball Pennent Race Edition Expansion Pack that will include the new hot rookies in the majors. Who knows? Maybe it's not that far off from now.

In closing I want you to know that this game does not have the new backyard kid design. The new Backyard Hockey has new kids to chose from and absolutely stunning visual effects. I recommend that game also for the Backyard Series fans.

Oh yeah, one more thing, HAVE FUN!!!

Sincerely,
Ian Badeer
A True Backyard Series Fan

5-0 out of 5 stars Baackyard basketball 2004
I think this game is really good. People say this is too easy but i am 11 and I play on hard mode and I lose sometimes It is deffinetly better then the first backyard basketball because the originial only had two pros and this has ten. This game has good pros and good pro selections but they could have had better people as well like Steve Francis, Baron Davis and Kobe Bryant. Some of the people in there have not very good attributes like Tim Duncan has no outside shot but in real life he is a good outside shooter and Pau Gasol has no outside shot but can make all of the three pointers he shoots. Making a shot is very easy from outside but inside shots are kinda difficult. This game has the same graphics and gameplay as Backyard Hockey which I like the gameplay but the graphics i don't like. I would reccomend this game for 5-12 year olds and if you want the ultimate team I would pick Tracy McGrady, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan as starters and reserves Yao Ming and Paul Peirce. Other than the bad graphics and the choosing of the pros and pro's attributes this is a very fun and good game.

forced to do setups
From the makers of putt-putt,freddi fish,spy fox and pajama sam comes backyard sports.It's fun but you buy it on software,that's where it gets **** instead of *****.Humongous FORCES you to do their setups BEFORe you can play your game.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Baseball Game Ever!
This game is great and a little challanging! The menus are very simple. There are 2 modes that you can play on. A single game mode and season play mode. In single game mode, if you want certain players on your team you have to get them quickly because your opponent can get them before you do. A cool part of single game mode is that you can play tee-ball and watch a demo! On season mode you pick your players first so you have all the players that you want. Each player has four ratings, Batting, Running, Pitching and Fielding. There are three game levels. (Excluding tee-ball mode) A way that makes the game challanging is that there is pluses and minus'. Pluses make them stronger in a rating and minus' make them lower in a rating.If you want to play season mode I reccomend you first play some single games and watch some demos. Also you should start at easy level and work your way up to medium then hard. Heres a tip. Never get Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds! They get tired to easily and get lots of minus'. A very fun game!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great game and to me fun to play!
This Backyard Soccer 2004 has my favorite players here.Like Brandi Chastain,Tiffity Milbrett,and Cobi Jones.This is a fun game to play,but the hard level still a piece of cake.You can make your color of your team,but the promblem is you have to choose from some choices instead of naming your team.That's my kinda suggestion.I won the game a hundred times already,but I love it and I keep on playing it!I think this is a 4 star rating for one reason why 4 stars,Way too easy! ... Read more


169. Star Trek: Shattered Universe
list price: $49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000092W8Q
Catlog: Video Games
Publisher: Jack Of All Games
Sales Rank: 2075
Average Customer Review: 2.88 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Intense space combat set outside the classic Star Trek world
  • Pilot 10 unique space craft never seen before
  • 19 incredible levels
  • Amazingly detailed environments
  • For 1 player

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars An innovating and suprisingly fun game, but not without flaw
Truth be told, this game is the first "fighter" game of it's type.

The premis of the game is simple. The USS Excelsior, commanded by Captain Hikaru Sulu responds to a distress call from two federation ships, one being the USS Enterprise..oddly..under the command of Pavel Chekov. Somehow, the Excelsior is pulled into the alternate universe, and runs right into the ISS Enterprise, commanded by an evil Pavel Chekov. Chaos ensues for nearly 20 missions.

This game has many good points. The graphics, sound and music as well as the story line are all top notch, and deserve praise. Many Original Series moments are duplicated in the mirror universe in top form, and the capital ships are very difficult to destroy with a fighter, as they should be.
However....

The games flaws keep it from gaining a 5 star rating. The game is insanely difficult even on easy. the Imperial Fleet seems to be made up of only three classes of ships, the Refit Constitution Class, the Miranda class and an unamed Destroyer class. In all the missions, the capital ships never slug it out, you never see photon torpedos and phasers being fired between the Excelsior and the enemy ships, the only thing they do is take random pot shots at fighters.

Both Sulu and Chekov are voiced by the actors that played them, a big, big plus.

I would recommend this game for any trek fan, but be aware of it's errors before you simply jump in head first without thinking.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Star Trek Fan
I love Star Trek in its many forms. I am 38, I grew up with Star Trek. Unfortunately,..

1. This game is difficult enough that the what fun there could have been is sucked out of it. The controller configurations are not intuitive, it takes a lot of effort to get used to them, I finally choose the second configuration. The missions are very very long, and they typically cresendo to very difficult challenges at the end. If you fail, and you will until you figure out the best strategy, you go all the way back to the beginning of the mission. What happened to intermediate save points?

2. Nice graphics but after getting over the excitement of protecting the Federation, I noticed that the missions involved the same kind of action really, and it became boring and incredibly tedious.

3. How many times has this storyline been rehashed. Let it go already.

This game looks pretty for a while, but it takes advantage of Star Trek fans. We deserve better, especially for the money.

I wanted to love this game, but I just cant.

2-0 out of 5 stars Should have heeded the warnings
I went ahead and bought this game, despite the repeated onine warnings against it.

While I actually enjoyed the ship graphics (the character CG is terrible), I got terribly frustrated. Even with all the cheats, this game is near impossible to complete. I gave it a month, on and off, and finally got rid of it.

Unless you just want the opportunity to blow up original series starships, do yourself a favor and stay far, far away!

3-0 out of 5 stars A good game...
While this game may not be the best Star Trek related game ever created, (...) it is an entertaining game. Certainly, it is a good starting point for X-Box games.
I will say that the battles are mind-bogglingly difficult. So difficult in fact that you will probably take several hours just to get even the smallest victory out of it. (...) Personally, I find this to be the more entertaining aspect of the game, as Captain Sulu screams at you to quit firing.
Overall, while it may not be the best Trek game ever produced, it does have its entertaining moments which make it worth playing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money
(...)

This game is a real-time space fighter/mission oriented game. The back of the box bills it as more of a Capitol Ship combat game, so lets get that first part straight. There are Trekkers out there who will hate the game because of some inconsitancies in the univers, but that is besides the point.

As other reviewrs have said there isn't any way to save the game mid-mission, so if you screw up or just plain die, you have to start over at the beginning of the mission. This feature [gets really bad] when you get deep into some of the more involved levels.
The individual missions are set not to be challenging, but straight up WAY too hard. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have replayed several of the missions almost a dozen times and I was playing on the "easy" setting.
The environment graphics are quite good, spectacular even. The animations of people however leave quite a bit to be desired.
The controls are quite intuitive and easy to grasp. Not a lot of excess controls that you don't need or never use.
There is a lack of helpful targeting controls (i.e. nearest enemy). Your only options are "Nearest Capitol", "Next Target", "Previous Target" or "Next Fighter".
The cut-scenes are good, but in the middle of game-play (when a ship blows up) is not good, especially when you return from it you aren't in the same place you were. Kind of like the game continued for a couple of seconds after the scene started. This may not sound like much, but when you have an enemy locked on, a cut scene starts, and when you come back you have to track them all over again it really [is not good]!
Also, when new messages come in, parts of your on screen display/HUD (which isn't always easy to translate), is covered obscuring necessary information for several seconds (such as distance to target).
There also seems to be a lack of reference to effective ranges of weapons or minimum distances to avoid being blown-up when a starship goes. These you apparently have to find out by trial and error.

And just incase someone from Jack Of All Games reads this, next time leave the fighters out except as maybe an accessory to the ship (not player controlled other than "attack this", "defend that"). Include a save feature in the pause menu. Make the game about starship vs. starship. Fix the above listed problems of controls and game play. And finally, make it playable head to head either on the same console or also on XBox Live. Maybe turn based real-time combat would be a good idea.(...) ... Read more


170. Backyard Baseball 2003
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000645ZF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 890
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Infogrames has improved upon an already excellent franchise with Backyard Baseball 2003. We hope this software doesn't become a victim of its own success: the Backyard Kids are getting so good, it's only a matter of time before they start demanding astronomical salaries and brand-new stadiums.

The pace, strategy, and statistics involved in baseball make it a sport that translates easily to the computer screen. In Backyard Baseball, players can play pickup games, launch a tournament, have batting practice, or just watch the computer play its own game. Options are initially overwhelming, but add longevity to the game as well. Twelve different game fields each exert their own unique influence over play--balls bounce crazily on the gravel lot, while homers are rare in the fenceless field. Games can be tweaked to add errors or include a visible strike zone; even field chatter can be added or eliminated. A wide selection of hits, pitches, and stance possibilities at the plate keep players strategizing, while the occasional power-up or wild pitch serves as a reminder of baseball's unpredictability.

The creative team outdid themselves with character development in this software. The Backyard Kids are quirky and three-dimensional--the research done on the real players was exemplary as well. For example, did you know Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks listens to Rush in his spare time? Go figure.

Backyard Baseball 2003 will keep both young and old baseball fans engaged for a good long time. Consider it a way to fill that long wintry gap between baseball seasons. (Ages 7 and older) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another awesome upgrade to the already great series!
I have seen and played many demos and have read tons of reviews on this product.

I have been a fan of this Junior Sports series since the very first original Backyard Baseball came out. I own 2 of the 3 baseball editions, both of the football versions, my brothers have both of the soccer editions, and we also have Backyard Basketball.

From what I've seen and read this is another great additon to any of your collections of these games. The gameplay is smooth, the graphics are stunning, there are EVEN MORE gamplay options than in BYB 2001, the MLB kids faces are very believable, the players ability to play is slightly exaggerated but hey, that's what makes it so fun.

Being a big fan and player of baseball I follow the majors like nothing else. For that reason I noticed the ratings (Running, Pitching, Fielding, and Hitting) on the players to be slightly off. But if that's the only problem, that's an extremely small sacrifice to make when buying this game.

This game is worth every penny you spend on it. I recommend this game for fans and non-fans of all ages.

The levels of difficulty are set very well for people that play it. I do wish though that they would add an extra "Major League" level of play for us older guys that are looking for some challenging opponents.

I haven't tried online play yet but I'm sure you would find some more challenging people to play against.

This series is getting better with every game and should soon become one of the top sports games on the market. I hope that soon they will expand their games and come out with Backyard Baseball Pennent Race Edition Expansion Pack that will include the new hot rookies in the majors. Who knows? Maybe it's not that far off from now.

In closing I want you to know that this game does not have the new backyard kid design. The new Backyard Hockey has new kids to chose from and absolutely stunning visual effects. I recommend that game also for the Backyard Series fans.

Oh yeah, one more thing, HAVE FUN!!!

Sincerely,
Ian Badeer
A True Backyard Series Fan

5-0 out of 5 stars Baackyard basketball 2004
I think this game is really good. People say this is too easy but i am 11 and I play on hard mode and I lose sometimes It is deffinetly better then the first backyard basketball because the originial only had two pros and this has ten. This game has good pros and good pro selections but they could have had better people as well like Steve Francis, Baron Davis and Kobe Bryant. Some of the people in there have not very good attributes like Tim Duncan has no outside shot but in real life he is a good outside shooter and Pau Gasol has no outside shot but can make all of the three pointers he shoots. Making a shot is very easy from outside but inside shots are kinda difficult. This game has the same graphics and gameplay as Backyard Hockey which I like the gameplay but the graphics i don't like. I would reccomend this game for 5-12 year olds and if you want the ultimate team I would pick Tracy McGrady, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan as starters and reserves Yao Ming and Paul Peirce. Other than the bad graphics and the choosing of the pros and pro's attributes this is a very fun and good game.

forced to do setups
From the makers of putt-putt,freddi fish,spy fox and pajama sam comes backyard sports.It's fun but you buy it on software,that's where it gets **** instead of *****.Humongous FORCES you to do their setups BEFORe you can play your game.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Baseball Game Ever!
This game is great and a little challanging! The menus are very simple. There are 2 modes that you can play on. A single game mode and season play mode. In single game mode, if you want certain players on your team you have to get them quickly because your opponent can get them before you do. A cool part of single game mode is that you can play tee-ball and watch a demo! On season mode you pick your players first so you have all the players that you want. Each player has four ratings, Batting, Running, Pitching and Fielding. There are three game levels. (Excluding tee-ball mode) A way that makes the game challanging is that there is pluses and minus'. Pluses make them stronger in a rating and minus' make them lower in a rating.If you want to play season mode I reccomend you first play some single games and watch some demos. Also you should start at easy level and work your way up to medium then hard. Heres a tip. Never get Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds! They get tired to easily and get lots of minus'. A very fun game!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great game and to me fun to play!
This Backyard Soccer 2004 has my favorite players here.Like Brandi Chastain,Tiffity Milbrett,and Cobi Jones.This is a fun game to play,but the hard level still a piece of cake.You can make your color of your team,but the promblem is you have to choose from some choices instead of naming your team.That's my kinda suggestion.I won the game a hundred times already,but I love it and I keep on playing it!I think this is a 4 star rating for one reason why 4 stars,Way too easy! ... Read more


171. Star Wars: Droid Works

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002SV6E
Catlog: Software
Publisher: LucasArts Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1949
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Droid building
You get to build droids even ones in existence like artoo-detoo and c-3po. It uses the Jediknight Dark Forces II engine. The real object for missions is to test your droids on sandy surfaces. The whole game takes place on Tatoonie and it has many dangerous parts. Like falling off a fifty foot drop might explode the droid. I say its great for all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars A five-star game!
Star Wars Droidworks has been one of the most addictive games I have ever played. The plot goes like this: The Empire has started the prodution of assassin droids. Assassin droid are tough droids armed with huge blasters and a taste for torture. However, they are dim-witted. Your job is to build a droid to reprogram the assassins into harmless droids. Before doing this, you must build droids to complete eight training missions three times to prove you're worthy and to be rewarded with droid parts. These missions are also to teach you about the science concepts used in the missions. Once all are completed, you get access to the four secret missions. In three of them, you must collect the three Information Crystals, one in each mission. In these three missions, assassin droids are lurking, so you must be careful. After that, you must activate them in the Data Information Facility to get the Data Disk, as well as the location of the Hidden Droid Factory that is producing the assassins. With the Data Disk, you must enter the Hidden Droid Factory, and insert it into the reprogramming slot to reprogram the assassins into harmless dancing droids.

5-0 out of 5 stars the game is awesome
this game is great you get to build your own droids from star wars and then battle them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great game!
This is a great game! A lot of people make the sound mean by talking about the "asassin droids", well all they do is walk up and try to break your droid, there is no shooting or anything in it. First you only have a little bit of droid parts to build with. But first thing's first, you need to go in the Jawa Training thing first. In the Jawa training thing you will learn how to control your droid and make your droid do cool things, you also learn how your droid reacts with the things around it. After you have learned the basics test your skill at the training missions, when you win a traingng mission you get a new droid part. You need to complete each training missions ( I think there are 8) 3 times to get all the droid parts you will need. After you have completed each training mission at least 1 time you will get secret missions (But you should complete all the training missions 3 times so you will get all of the parts you need), you will need to complete all of the secret missions aleasts 1 time to get all the infomation crystals, after you have done that you will need to go to a place were you can seek the infomation inside the infomation crystals by reflecting light into them, after you have done that you will need to go thru the hidden droid factory and reporgram the assassin droids, in the Secret Misions you will find Assassin droids that you will need to outsmart.

Cool things:
1) This is good for education, did I talk about the index? There is a Index thing that is like a cool sceince book! It's really cool!

2)There are really funny jokes in this! Why do Jawas live in the dessert? Because they were looking for a hot spot!

3) There are really great suprizes, Do you know what you can reprogram the assasin droids to do? I am not telling! Your just have to find out for yourself!

4) When you bump into Assasin droids you don't destroy them, you outsmart them!

5) Much much more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking and fun for boys and girls
Our 8 year old son is the one who wanted it, but we all play with it. The child is the designer of "droids" that he sends on missions. Each droid must meet special mission criteria specifided by the program, but there is plenty of room for innovation, and if the mission fails, well, he can re-design and try again. When he successfully completes a mission, he is rewarded with more and better parts to include in his future droids. As he propgresses, the missions get harder. Unknowingly he is learning about physics, how machines works and about material properties while improving his problem solving skills.

It is fun to be a droid designer and to see one's creations put to work. Kids like it, and we, parents, like it for the creative thinking and learning. So, let them fight over the computer! ... Read more


172. Disney's 1st & 2nd Grade Bundle (Pixar 1st Grade, Secret Keys, and Aladdin Reading Quest)

our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00029BQA2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney
Sales Rank: 749
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Features

  • 3 fun and interactive learning games with Buzz, Mickey, and Aladdin
  • Build phonics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension
  • Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Goal and reward structured; printable take-away activities
  • For 1st and 2nd graders

173. Math 2
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005BIRS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: School Zone
Sales Rank: 654
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Based on the School Zone workbook series, this program teaches critical math skills with interactive activities and fun games. Proven curriculum, audio guidance, and clear examples help your child master addition, subtraction, multiplication, place values, and other skills. The program randomizes problems with each use, providing endless activities. The engaging games provide a helpful break. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for second graders and home motivation.
I teach a first/second grade combonation class. This math program allows my second graders to learn at their own abilities, and my high first graders to be challenged. The program keeps track of the students progress and allows them to correct the problems they missed. (I like that a lot!)
It is also a great motivation for my own child at home. He is in school all day. So coming home to do more work is tough, this lets him practice his math in a different way. Great program!!! ... Read more


174. Scooby-Doo: Jinx at the Sphinx
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LBVR
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 339
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Join Scooby-Doo and the gang in Egypt as they visit Velma's Egyptologist cousin, Thelma. While visiting the pyramids in Giza, they find Thelma is missing and a mysterious mummy is frightening all the tourists away. It's up to the gang to find Thelma and wrap up the mummy for good. Kids help Scooby-Doo and his friends by telling them what to do and who to talk to. Along the way, they'll encounter ghosts, puzzles, and hair-raising adventure.

Kids must solve more than 10 different puzzles and activities to solve each mystery. The adventure is never the same. The mystery changes each time you play, with new clues and a different villain and outcome. Turn up the gameplay and the challenge with three levels of difficulty: Spooky! for ages 5 and 6; Spookier! for ages 7 and 8; and Spooktacular! for ages 9 and 10. The game builds thinking and problem-solving skills by utilizing research skills, deductive reasoning, and logical analysis. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Zoiks!
My kids ages 5 and 8 loved this game. It flows just like the cartoon show on TV, as we follow Scooby and the gang as they search for clues to solve the mystery. My kids had it completely solved in an hour or so, then played it a few more times to see the different clues and villains, and now they're done with it--not 24 hours since we brought it home! They want to play the next two Scooby games now. "If it hadn't been for those meddling kids..."

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected.
As crazy as my children are about Scooby Doo, I expected this game to be exceptional. Although my 7 year old has played it quite a bit [and I probably got my money's worth] he quickly leaves it to go back to other software games like: Train Simulator, Oregon Trail, Lionel's Trans Con, and Mission THINK. The game advances slowly and the graphics are flat like watching the cartoon. Guess I was expecting more educational basis to this software, but find it's really more like watching the show on TV.

2-0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness it was a gift!
I wouldn't buy this for my kids. Thankfully it was a gift for my 8-year old daughter. She tried to play it on her own at first and couldn't really figure out what to do, I guess she didn't read or listen to the instructions. The instruction file was enormous and complicated to follow for the specified age group. I played it on my own later to see what in fact this was all about. I solved the mystery and actually enjoyed myself, then my daughters(4&8) played it and the mystery was exactly the same for the next 3 times they used it. Maybe I haven't found how to change the level of difficulty, but I felt that everything was too obvious and not really a "mystery". I felt the kids were being humored and this game was really dumbed down. We haven't picked it up again since then, it has been a couple of weeks now. They'd much rather stick to "Clue Finders" and other such programs or the written word than play this game. They may give it another shot soon. Bottom line, this game just doesn't suit our tastes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I suspected.
This game is rather easy an does not contain many challenges for my 4-year old. The game was very easy to complete. The game becomes boring rather quickly at times because you had to keep going back and forth from place to place to solve the game. Sometimes you get stuck and am not sure where to go next until you explore some of the places again because the scenes change as the game progresses. The game has excellent graphics and sound but a mediocre story. The game needed more action.

5-0 out of 5 stars OOOOOOO IS THIS BAD! RATHER EAT DOG FOOD
AWFUL AND NO EDUCATIONAL VALUE FOR YOUR CHILDREN ... Read more


175. Encarta Reference Library 2004 DVD
list price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000096L6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2132
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encarta 2004 versus Britannica 2004
I have bought both Encarta and Britannica for years (EB in printed edition too: 32 volumes, 32.000 sheets). This is my opinion in brief: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) makes interesting to buy both.
TEXT: Britannica is a superb encyclopedia in text (not in visual aid) since 1768 (you know: an article by Einstein and so on...). Text in electronic version differs from printed encyclopedia (very large articles have been shortened). Britannica claims that it has more items than Encarta, but this is a joke: articles like "Mexico" are only one (with a lot of subdivisions) in Encarta, while in Britannica subdivisions are unconnected, and you must "jump" from one subdivision to another, which is slow and very annoying, especially if you want to copy it in "WORD". Very often, the text is not updated.
In the other hand, Encarta's text is not bad at all. Most articles have the name of their contributors (professions, works...): They are not John Doe. You can find large fragments of literary works, literature guides, a lot of sidebars and thousands of quotations. "Encarta Africana" is included. The Pop-Up (double clicking a word) Dictionary and Thesaurus has sound for correct pronunciation (by the way, it can read aloud, with a robotic and ugly voice, a whole article). The "Translation Dictionaries" to Spanish, French, German and Italian must be improved, because they are minimal. It gives you a lot of "Internet links", even if you are not connected. With Britannica you must be "on-line" and it searches in an EB Web page.
In theory you can update Britannica over the Internet free for a year quarterly (4 times), but this does not work: You can not find new files. Encarta can be updated free EVERY WEEK with new articles and additions or corrections to the old ones (till October 2004). With Encarta updating really works. Technically, is amazing to see the changes in old items.
ATLAS Britannica has not a real atlas; only a worlds map whose maximum detail is the States of USA. Statistics are very poor. Encarta's Atlas is like another encyclopedia, with a great detail (1 cm/ 4 km all over the world) and 20 types of atlas presentations (statistical ones can be counted by dozens). If you look a geographical article (city, river...) you can see in a corner where it is placed and, with only a click, open the atlas. In articles of cities, if you are on-line, you can see in another corner the weather of this place in that moment. If it is a USA place, you can read the latest news.
MULTIMEDIA: They say that "serious" or "adult" readers do not care about "pictures"; that multimedia is only for kids. I do not agree, because I think that, sometimes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Works of art, anatomy, historical maps, diagrams ... Encarta devastates Britannica with a lot of photos, paintings, drawings, charts & tables, animations, interactivities, videos, music and sounds, pictures, 2-D and 3-D virtual tours, 360-degrees views, timeline, games... It is not only the quantity and quality. It is the easy access you have to all the multimedia, and that text and multimedia are fully integrated. Britannica is not really multimedia. It has photos and videos, but they make the program slow and sluggish. They should edit an alternative version with only text, as they did with the first edition in 1995. It worked fast and easy in old computers.
INTERFACE AND PERFORMANCE: This is the worst side of Britannica. With Encarta you only have to type a word or the beginning of a word to see all the articles and multimedia that contain it. If Encarta does not find anything, it gives you automatically alternative spellings. Even if you write the name of a small village lost in any country, you see it in the atlas. If you need to copy text or pictures, the integration with Microsoft WORD is perfect. It has additional ways to find content, including subject or multimedia browsing, "related articles" and the standard A-Z method. The "Research Organizer" is very helpful too. Encarta's TEXT FONT is very clear (Britannica's...) and you can choose 3 sizes.
Navigating with Britannica is different. 2004 edition is better than 2003 one, but still it is disappointing. I will only give you an example: if you do not know the exact and correct spelling of a name or word, it does not help you with similar spellings (unless you open a window and fight with it). As I said before, the program's performance speed is very slow and sluggish, and it must be dramatically improved. To go "back and forward" you do not find any icon and you need to open a "menu".... One "pro" for Britannica: they say it works with Macintosh.
I repeat my modest piece of advice: Encarta is excellent in all aspects, but Britannica's authoritative text (sometimes outdated) make interesting to buy both.

3-0 out of 5 stars Picture quality could be better
As usual, the DVD version is better than the CD version because you don't have to swap the disks. However, the picture quality of the photos, especially the 360 tour is the worst this year. Maybe Microsoft wanted to pack to much information into one DVD. Only 10 more video clips than last year and most are in poor resolution. With the development of so much technology applications, I would expect their product better each year.
Still, no homework help or research help for any foreign languages. The research organizer is a helpful tool but takes some time to learn how to use it. By joining the "Encarta Club", a free service online, you get to get access to Encarta's content anywhere in the world as long as you can get online, which is a pretty good feature. However, you must be a MSN passport member.

1-0 out of 5 stars Light on Content and Yet Still Biased
If you are looking for great presentation, lite content, and biased history, by all means by this product. I reviewed both Encarta and Britannica and found Britannica to more in depth and less biased in its history. Many of Brittanica's articles are by people Encarta only writes snippets about (i.e., you get their point of view not some political hack.) If you are looking for content and a fairer presentation of history buy Britannica.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy for the dictionary...
First off, my primary reason for buying this product was the dictionary tool, so my review isn't exactly complete.

I've been using the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Suite 2001 extensively since it's introduction - and it is, bar none, the best on the market. You can launch it with Windows at startup and have it run in the taskbar, because it uses little to no resources, and then it's always on demand in a flash. When the interface is open, your cursor is already where it needs to be and you can begin typing instantly. It's also quite smart, in regards to finding matches to a mistyped or misspelled word. If the program doesn't find a direct match to your input, it will display a list of words which it thinks are close, and 9 times out of time your word will be listed.

The same great attributes do not hold true for the dictionary and thesaurus tools in Reference Library 2004, however. While the interface does look much the same, that's about the only similarity. 2004 is a resource hog, for one. It's also not very intelligent. If you type a word in wrong, or are simply searching for the spelling of a word, you might as well dig out your paperback, because the paperback is going to be quicker to thumb through. Once one hits enter in 2004, if the program doesn't find an exact match, it automatically displays the first word that matches the first series of characters, beginning from left to right, as oppose to a list of words with simililarities. The real killer for me is in how slow it is to use. For instance, when you open or restore the program to the desktop, you have to navigate to the input box each and every time before you can begin typing. Therefore, if you're doing a lot of writing, and need to switch back and forth between programs, such as a word processor, these 2004 tools are a considerable hinrance, as one has to incessantly leave the keyboard to maneuver the mouse.

I bought 2004 thinking it was going to be a simple update, and perhaps even an upgrade, but instead received a semi-useless downgrade...

3-0 out of 5 stars Bintannica is better
Britannica has more information than Encarta. But Britannica has worse interface than Encarta.

If you want better contents, Britannica will be the one. Encarta has very little information on many different subjects. ... Read more


176. Games Just For Girls 3
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00032IYGW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Navarre(Software)
Sales Rank: 1251
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Features

  • Hours of entertainment with 4 fun-filled games for little girls
  • Interactive adventures in Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
  • 8 exciting games with Care Bears Care-a-lot Jamboree
  • Fun activities in Strawberry Shortcake Amazing Cookie Party
  • Get creative with Disney Princess Fashion Boutique

177. Disney Preschool Bundle (Pooh Pre-School, Mickey Pre-School, and Stanley Wild for Sharks)
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00029BQAM
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney
Sales Rank: 810
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Mickey Preschool helps children learn self-esteem and social skills while they play with Mickey and friends
  • Kids will explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie The Pooh, and learn counting to 100 with Huey, Dewey and Louie
  • Stanley Wild for Sharks! is undersea adventure with Stanley and his animal friends. Dive right into a learning adventure while building problem-solving skills
  • Ages for 5 to 7

178. Nancy Drew Treasure In The Royal Tower
list price: $19.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LVWL
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Her Interactive
Sales Rank: 119
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower is such a captivatinggame that we could barely stop playing long enough to write this review. Thefourth adventure in the Nancy Drew series from Her Interactive finds Nancyvacationing at an old ski lodge in Wisconsin. But, as usual, trouble is afoot.The library has been vandalized (as if someone was looking for something?), aviolent storm has snowed in everyone, and you must play as Nancy to unravel themystery.

Similar to the other Nancy Drew adventures, you get to step into Nancy's shoesand explore the old lodge to uncover clues through objects you pick up along theway and conversations with the other guests. Things heat up when Nancy learnsthat the lodge contains an old tower that has been sealed off. You quickly learnthat the tower was brought over from France, and was Marie Antoinette's hidingplace in her final months before her beheading during the French Revolution.Could Marie's famed treasure be hidden in the tower? Is that why the library wasvandalized? And why is everyone acting so suspicious?

Why do we love this game so much? The first reason is that it gives young girlsan outstanding female role model, the likes of which we haven't encountered inany other kids' games to date. Who else, besides Nancy, is so smart, brave,witty, and adventuresome? The second is that it's hardly dumbed down the waymany girls' games are. We're way above the minimum age range for this game (ages10 and older), but playing in the senior detective mode we were challenged(there's also a junior detective mode for younger players)--it took us hours andhours of thrilling gameplay to unravel the mystery. And yet, it moves quicklyand is satisfying enough to keep anyone playing for long stretches. Lastly,Treasure in the Royal Tower gets girls engaged in history. Theintegration of the Marie Antoinette story and related French history was enoughto make us purchase a book on this intriguing royal figure to learn more.

Other outstanding things about Treasure in the Royal Tower includegorgeously designed backgrounds and 3-D environments, smooth gameplay,interesting and amusing characters, and the ability to use the Second Chancefeature and go back to right before you made a fatal mistake. You can also tapinto the minds of young women around the country on the message boards on theHer Interactive Web site. If you're ever stuck, you can ask this knowledgeableaudience for hints or clues that might help you out of a jam.

We could go on and on about all the great surprises and twists in this game, butthat would just spoil the plot, wouldn't it? Why don't you just check this oneout for yourself... we really can't say enough good things about it. --AraJane Olufson ... Read more

Reviews (436)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Haunted Carousel" an entertaning ride.
In "The Haunted Carousel," teenage sleuth Nancy Drew is on her eighth case: investigating amusement park "hauntings" in Captains Cove, NJ. One of the park's famed carousel horses has been stolen, and the carousel has been mysteriously starting and stopping on its own. Also, the park's roller coaster stopped suddenly, causing a rider to injure his neck. With the park shut down, Nancy must interview the employees and explore the park to find clues.

"Haunted Carousel" has some nice improvements over past games: the addition of the "to do" list, journal, and cell phone (no more endless running back and forth to Nancy's hotel to call). If Nancy gets stuck, she can call her friends Bess and George and the Hardy Boys. The game has two levels, Junior and Senior Detective, and there are plenty of built-in tips and hints, including a park operating manual with an overview of most puzzle components. "Haunted Carousel" seemed to be one of the easier ND games.

"Haunted Carousel" really draws the player into the park's atmosphere, complete with hotel room service, arcade games, a ride on the carousel (and chance to grab the brass ring), and more. The storyline flowed smoothly, the puzzles were organic (programming an arcade game, switching roller coaster tracks, repairing the carousel's band organ, reading invisible ink), the voice work was above average and the characters had distinct personalities. Music was pronounced, including carnival music for the carousel and ominous creepy tunes for the haunted house.

Nancy must watch her step as always, since someone wants to stop her from finding out the truth behind the hauntings. Along the way she helps someone come to terms with the past, sniffs out an insurance fraud, and digs up long-lost truths and secrets about the park and its employees. This is a lovely adventure with a unique atmosphere that will delight young sleuths.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price compared to others in series
First of all, I would like to point out that the editorial review above is not for Secrets Can Kill. It is for one of the other games in the series, and is therefore a better review than Secrets Can Kill deserves. It may be confusing to see the editorial review for the Tower mystery right under the title for Secrets Can Kill.
I love the Nancy Drew series, and I am a college-educated woman in my thirties. I have played four out of the first five games in the series (I have not played Stay Tuned for Danger). The other games have wonderful graphics and storylines. Talking to the other characters is enjoyable, and the puzzles are challenging enough for an adult when played on the senior detective level. I played Secrets Can Kill on the Master level (there are three levels for this game instead of two), and I found that my nine-year-old son was not challenged by the puzzles. Most of the puzzles are easily solved word puzzles that have clues as to the items to gather or hints about the character's secrets. However, most of the puzzles have nothing to do with the game play itself. There is one slide puzzle that allows you to find an inventory item; otherwise, the puzzles are just there for hints. As mentioned in other reviews, this game has cartoon-like characters rather than the 3D-type characters in the other games, and it really does make the game less interesting. The dialogue is uninteresting and the characters become hostile and barely speak to Nancy through most of the game. Overall, the game requires only a few answered puzzles to solve the mystery, and the ending is disappointing, to say the least. I gave this two stars instead of one, which was my first inclination, because I feel that it might be interesting for a child to play, especially if the child has not had very much experience with adventure games for the computer; however, a child would probably still at least want to play on the senior detective level. I recommend the other Nancy Drew games that I have played to players of any age for a nice, relaxing mystery, and I especially recommend the Haunted Mansion game. I cannot, however, recommend Secrets Can Kill.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting --- Another good mystery
I thought it was very good, only it was a little too complicated. I liked the usually good graphics (for Nancy Drew games) but I didn't particularly like the way you couldn't easily get around. Really well done ghost dogs, very scary. The mystery was a creepy one, and the villain was certainly unexpected. That's all I'll say. Anymore would spoil it.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite ND game so far!
Treasure in the Royal Tower is one of the best computer games I ever played. This is a great starter Nancy Drew game for starting off because it's not too hard nor too easy. If you want a really easy game try the Haunted Carousel.
The story goes that you, as Nancy Drew, are snowed in at a ski resort in Wisconsin with an interesting history. In this game you learn about the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette.
"So, what's the mystery?" you ask. I'm getting to that.
There is a tower shipped over from France and was put back together on Wickford Castle, the ski resort you are staying at. The library at Wickford has been vandalized, and it takes a lot more than barging through the front door to investigate. Later, you hear about Marie Antoinette having a crown worth millions and somehow you figure that the library and treasure are connected. Your job is to find out the story behind the treasure and library.
This game took me about four days to beat. It's quite challenging in parts, like the ski lift, but you can get through it. It's also a little frightening, like the banging noises, but not too frightening that you never want to play it again, like the Final Scene. All in all, Treasure in the Royal Tower is a great game and everyone should buy it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the Best
I've played all of the Nancy Drew Games (except the Final Scene) and this one was pretty good. It was well-written, but I didn't think it was as interesting as some of the other games. I would reccomend the Haunted Carousel or Treasure in the Royal Tower instead. ... Read more


179. Adventure Workshop 5: Preschool-1st Grade
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001GU7I8
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 744
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Features

  • 4 complete CD-ROM titles for the price of 1
  • Hours and hours of exciting game play and education
  • Includes characters both parents and kids love
  • Plus Reader Rabbit sticker sheets free inside
  • Fun learning for kids ages 4 to 7

180. Reading Blaster Ages 7-8
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005KB3A
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 1933
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Catch the crooks and bag the books. There's trouble on planet Islandia, where pesky Mumblers are stealing all the books. Join the Blaster gang to crack the mystery as you race down ski slopes, escape a volcano before it blows, and steady your aim to plug steaming geysers. Make it past all these obstacles, and you can solve the case of "whodunit." Get ready, get set, and start clicking.

Reading Blaster is part of the Blaster Learning System, an integrated line of game-based learning software. Blaster Learning System missions use gameplay to teach fundamental math and reading skills to kids ages 5 to 9. After mastering the essentials, kids move on to Cross Terrain Challenge, created to sharpen critical-thinking skills through extreme game adventures.

Reading Blaster's unique motivational learning system recognizes each child's achievement with points that can be redeemed for rewards. The Blaster Learning System goes the extra step with SmartPoints to provide an incentive to play, practice, and learn. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars READING IS A BLAST
ANYTHING TO GET CHILDREN TO READ IS WONDERFUL, AND THSES ARE THE TOP OF THE LINE ... Read more


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