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$10.70 list($19.99)
21. Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
$16.99 $10.40 list($19.99)
22. Brother Bear
$19.99
23. Max and the Magician
24. Oregon Trail 2 (Jewel Case)
$18.99 $13.95 list($19.99)
25. Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
$19.99 $11.79
26. Fisher Price Imaginext: Battle
$18.99 $7.99 list($19.99)
27. Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate
$6.99 $6.90 list($19.99)
28. Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet
$17.50 list($29.99)
29. Uru: Ages Beyond Myst
$17.99 $16.95 list($19.99)
30. Spongebob Squarepants The Movie
list($19.99)
31. Barbie Pet Rescue
$6.99 list($9.99)
32. Thomas & Friends: The Great
33. Oregon Trail II - Anniversary
$18.99 $18.64 list($19.99)
34. Dora the Explorer: Fairytale Adventures
$19.99 $14.99
35. Spiderman & Friends
$19.46 list($49.99)
36. Star Trek: Shattered Universe
$5.98 list($24.99)
37. Scooby-Doo: Jinx at the Sphinx
$18.99 $13.95 list($19.99)
38. Nancy Drew Treasure In The Royal
$14.99 $14.17
39. Finding Nemo
$9.99 $8.54 list($29.99)
40. Mia's Math Adventure: Just In

21. Dora the Explorer: Backpack Adventure
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006BN8F
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 109
Average Customer Review: 2.73 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Nearly any fan of Dora the Explorer's TV show will enjoy this structured "adventure" in which players help the program's intrepid heroine achieve the noble goal of returning her library books on time. While not exactly suspenseful, the program is ideal for children ages 3 to 5 who are just learning how to use a computer. Over a soundtrack of catchy Latin music, the player helps Dora and her perky friends overcome a series of seven obstacles, and collects sticker prizes along the way. The program is unlikely to hold the attention of more computer-savvy kids as it is very predictable, structured, and slow paced. But its emphasis on teamwork, and opportunities to practice color, shape, and number recognition--not to mention learn a little Spanish--make it worthwhile.

Only a minute or so into the program most adults will find Dora's incessant cheerfulness a bit old as she shouts out a steady stream of encouragement. But for kids, this aspect may not be so hard to take. Dora's pack of friends from the TV show all appear in the program, along with the Fiesta Trio, a dancing frog-snail-and-bug band.

The seven games that make up the plot of the program emphasize basic skills and concepts. They include locating Dora's books by color, sorting through her backpack for objects, and solving simple pattern-recognition problems. There are three levels of difficulty--each varies according to how much Spanish is used and how advanced the number and pattern problems are. One drawback is that if a child gets stuck there is no way to ask for specific help or hints. A useful feature, however, is the ability to stop and start the program where the player left off, and save individual programs for up to three different players.

While kids used to more fast-paced programs may quickly get bored, young children--especially those who are already fans of the TV show--will have fun developing their mouse skills and putting their problem-solving abilities to the test. --Molly Masland ... Read more

Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars My 2 year old LOVES it. Great fun!
My oldest daughter loves Dora and took to this game immediately. She loves to sit on my lap and play and our father-daughter time is often spent on the computer. She can't get enough.

The 3 levels offer a nice change for children that are getting bored with the game. Some puzzles she plays at level 1 where some puzzles she plays at level 3.

The game is VERY educational and fun and it follows the same format as the cartoon does. She'll turn 3 soon and she still loves it.

I'd also recommend Dora's Backpack Adventure (they make a trip to the library), Little People Discovery Airport, Winnie the Pooh (where Pooh gathers all the friends for Eyores birthday party) and Mickey Mouse (where Mickey and Minnie stop off at Goofy's gas station / Daisey's diner).

2-0 out of 5 stars Average at best game; Dora only redeeming feature.
Do not buy this game if you are used to the better quality games Humongous software has produced for NickJR characters in the past: Humongous was sold to Infogames, and well, if this title is indicative, much was lost.

This game is saved only by the appearance of Dora. I really feel the two star rating is generous. My daughter is Dora crazy, and even she shows little to no interest in this game (and she loves edutainment computer games).

The program is not well executed, and there is little asttention to detail. One my daughter noticed was that at the begining of the game Dora collects 5 books to return to the liebrary. When she returns the books at the end of the journey, the colors of the books which come out of the backpack don't match the ones put in, prompting my daughter to ask "what happened to the books we put in Dora's backpack...

1-0 out of 5 stars Dora the Explorer takes you a short and boring journey
My 4 year-old daughter completed this game in less than a half-hour. The short-length of the game actually caused her too cry! I was shocked at the lack of depth in the game given that it weighed in at over 250MB for the install.

She's crying as I type this. "I don't like this game!"

2-0 out of 5 stars Atari must really hate paying customers!!
Well I would give this more stars if Atari support weren't so terrible!! The only reason I give it 2 stars is because my daughter loves Dora and likes playing this game because there are plenty of activities to try and places to go. HOWEVER, Atari seems to want to force you (due to their prehistoric copy-protection scheme) to keep the CD-ROM in the drive at all times in order to play the game! How ridiculous! Even though I paid good money for this game and it installed on my hard drive, it does not let you run it from your hard drive. Atari told me that you need to have the CD-ROM in to play it and they "cannot help me get around the copy protection". Well I don't know about anyone else's toddlers, but my 2 year old just loves to open the CD-ROM and take discs out to play with. So this leaves me out of luck if the disc becomes scratched after she's done with it! I think Atari should trust their paying customers a little more and allow them to install the game FULLY to their hard drive... if for nothing else to protect their investment! I will never buy another game by Atari because of this. They have no regards for their paying customers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring!
I have a 3 year old, and after a week, she is already bored with this game. For $20, there should be more to do. It constantly repeats itself, and has no real direction. Very limited number of activities available, and really no variety. I would not recommend this game at all. I am currently reading reviews to find something much more interesting. ... Read more


22. Brother Bear
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008Z1LM
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Sales Rank: 326
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Explore Kenai's fully-interactive world in this real-time, 3-D game
  • Comical narration explains the transformation of Kenai into his rival the bear
  • Set in a lush environment
  • Game based upon Brother Bear's grand adventures
  • Play Kenai and Koda as bears; transform into a wolf, a crow, or an eagle

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Brother Bear an entertaining adaptation overall
Not having seen the movie, I can't comment on screen-to-PC authenticity, but KnowWonder's Brother Bear game is an entertaining romp through a variety of gorgeous, interactive environments (Aspen forest, Valley of Fire, Salmon Run and more) on Kenai's quest to become human again. The game is narrated by Rutt and Tuke, aka the SCTV McKenzie Brothers of moose (voiced by hosers Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, eh?), who explain the rough idea of Brother Bear: brothers Sitka, Denahi, and Kenai live in the Ice Age Pacific Northwest. When eldest brother Sitka is killed by a grizzly while protecting Kenai, Kenai tracks down the bear and kills it against the advice of the shaman. As punishment, he is transformed into a bear and must escape Denahi, who is now hunting him. Kenai befriends Koda, an orphaned grizzly cub, who helps him reach the place where the light touches the earth.

The game begins in the Apsen Forest in a training level, where Koda teaches Kenai the bear essentials: how to jump, climb, collect honeycomb to discover secret totems, and collect berries, salmon, and acorns to restore health. Interspersed between levels are arcade-style action games, such as racing to the top of the mountain, the Ice Run, and collecting the most salmon at the Salmon Run. These can be replayed to achieve a better score, or just to enjoy the action again.

Although there are no difficulty levels to choose from , the game increases in difficulty with each level. During each level Kenai must fight and escape Denahi. This is made difficult in the fact that once you enter the fights, there are no health power-ups, and if you die, you start right back out with as much or as little health as you had the first time. The saves are also automatic, and the game freezes up for a good 15-20 seconds every time it saves.

The claim that you can transform into an eagle, wolf or crow is deceiving: these are totems that you use in your quest, but you do not actually transform. The Eagle totem allows Kenai and Koda to fly to otherwise off-limits ledges and across barriers to collect bonus items (the Mystical Pinecone, which gives you an extra heart against the hunter) and to continue the game. The Wolf allows you to jump across super-wide chasms (you only use it once or twice), and the Crow allows you to see hidden objects or paths. There are also three totems that will aid you in your final fight against the Hunter: the Bear, the Sabertooth Tiger, and Golden Salmon. As a bonus, if you collect the six hidden totems, there is a hidden ending.

The 3D graphics are gorgeous: lush forest, snow-covered mountains, raging rapids and waterfalls, and volcanic craters. You can chase rabbits and butterflies for fun, fish for salmon in the river, and avoid grumpy chipmunks when collecting berries. The game did freeze up on my machine in a couple of spots (both in the Valley of Fire), but those were the only glitches I encountered. Brother Bear does require a 3D graphics card and a fair amount of memory to run smoothly (I ran it on an HP Pavillion with 256 MB RAM and an Nvidia TNT 64 MB graphics card).

Overall I feel that the game is too difficult for younger gamers (under six perhaps; the keyboard/mouse controls are rather tricky and very sensitive), but enjoyable for older kids.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for Toddlers
My 3yr old daughter loves the movie Brother Bear, so I bought the game. It is definitely geared more towards older children age 5 and up. Another drawback is the fact that you have to use the keyboard to maneuver the characters instead of the mouse. Obviously it is very difficult for a 3 year old to understand to push the space bar to jump, the contol button to move sideways, and the directional buttons to move, etc. Also, the game became stuck with 30 minutes of playing with her. I uninstalled the game and then reinstalled it and it got stuck again in the same place.

1-0 out of 5 stars System Requirements don't match Software Platform
I purchased this one because it specifically said that it was supported by the Windows 2000 platform. It is NOT! When you select the Systems Requirements, it does not list Windows 2000 but I took the platform listing as valid.

Now, I have purchased software that will not work and had to watch my girls' faces when their daddy (a network engineer) could not make it work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love This Game!
This is a beautiful game. Graphics are super. The whole family can enjoy the Brother Bear game. Makes a terrific holiday gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice game for children
This is a nice fun game for children. You get to explore Kenai's world in 3-D. There is narrating to help you along understand the story. You get to have the adventures in brother bear,you play as Kenai and Koda as bears, but you can transform into a wolf, eagle, or a crow. also the conrols are easy to leanr, and the game is very colorful. Overall a very nice and colorful game for youngsters.

I hope you enjoy this game. it will leave you smiling. :)
have a nice day! :) ... Read more


23. Max and the Magician
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005AR2A
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Viva Media
Sales Rank: 1265
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

If you haven't yet been charmed by the adventures of Max, then Maxand the Magician will surely charm you silly. It's a game with asurprisingly simple premise, and you can tell the creators put more thought intodelighting kids than they did into coming up with a complicated story line. Andthat's fine by us.

The plot is simple. Max, the dog with the precocious little boy's Englishaccent, is sent to deliver a package to Mervin the Magician by his Uncle Pong. However, when Max arrives at the castle, he discovers that Mervin has beentransformed into a toilet brush by the vindictive witch Hagabelle. It's your jobto find the pieces of the spell that are hidden around the castle--once puttogether, Mervin can turn back into his normal self.

Like most Max adventures, the immediate task is only a small part of the fununearthed in the program. As you move from room to room in the castle, clickingon various objects to find the spell pieces, you'll uncover some amazing things:cackling witches, a chest full of magic brooms, transforming walls, and aspell-casting machine. And pointing and clicking is made especially easy for kids. Forexample, when you move your cursor over a clickable object, the small Max iconturns into a hand; when the cursor is over an object on which you can cast aspell, a magic wand appears. The game also lends itself to repeat play--eachtime you play, the pieces to the spell are hidden in different places.

Once again, Tivola has created a great Max game for young kids. Though it movesslowly at times, it has an appropriate pace for kids of this age group, whoappreciate a simple task coupled with whimsy and a sense of discovery andaccomplishment. (Ages 3 to 7) --Ara Jane Olufson ... Read more


24. Oregon Trail 2 (Jewel Case)

Asin: B00005NCCK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 3604
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, educational fun...
While working as a teacher's assistant, I came across newer versions of this game, but they don't compare to classic Oregon Trail II. When I was little, I played this game at school and talked about it so much that I finally got the home version for Christmas one year; ten years later, I am not [too] ashamed to admit that I still enjoy playing it. Not only can children (and adults) learn about everyday life during this famous period of American history, but they also learn stragey. This game allows you a lot of freedom to do what you want with your wagon and its passengers - and if that means pitching over while fording a river, then so be it! Great game, great fun, great history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oregon Trail 2
This is a fun game I played at school more than once. Once I caught so much game, my wagon couldn't carry it all! I enjoyed playing it and am now asking for it from Santa.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great game for ages 6 or up, SO-so price
Well, before I start I must say I bought this game 3 years ago []for $10. The newer versions are the same price. But if your a classic game lover than this is your chance. It's easy but strangely fun many times over and over again. I'd say it's a top 5 software game to have. Works on most computers, But if you have a new one-get a newer game. I almost prefer this more than the 4th-so much more simplier and actually more fun. you choice

5-0 out of 5 stars Just about everyone will like it
I'm a 16 yr. old girl and I've had this version of Oregon Trail since I was about 9 or 10. I've never gotten sick of it. I still play it sometimes and it's a great way to kill some time. It's still fun for me and that's when you know a game is great.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Choice
Even though this game was originally written for elementary school kids, my boyfriend and I play this game ever night. He is in college, while I am a senior in high school. Everone of every age will find something to like in this game. It is very highly thought of in my household! ... Read more


25. Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
list price: $19.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LVWM
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Her Interactive
Sales Rank: 219
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Pop The Final Scene into your CD-ROM drive, fire it up, and you're greeted with the most gripping opening sequence yet in a Nancy Drew game. As the ageless, mystery-cracking heroine yourself, you accompany your friend Maya to an historical--yet dilapidated--theater to interview teen heartthrob Brady Armstrong for the opening of his new movie. As Maya disappears into the dressing room for the interview, you hear a scream, but when you charge in to investigate Maya is nowhere to be found. The question is, do you have what it takes to track down Maya's kidnapper before the theater is demolished?

The most notable improvement in the game comes in the form of the distinctive characters. With each game, the script and character work get better and better. The dialog has a nice youthfulness and sense of humor missing from the previous games. We also loved the choice of the old theater for a setting and the magic theme running throughout, but wished there were more nooks and crannies to explore. Additionally, we had some installations troubles, but Her Interactive assures us that those problems have been resolved, so all current versions should be fine.

A minor nitpick is that the timeframe seemed somewhat limiting. Previous Nancy Drew games had an open feel, there was no sense of urgency, and you solved the mystery in your own time. In The Final Scene, the gameplay is divided into three days, and you must accomplish specific tasks before you can move on to the next day. Though this structure lent itself well to the game's plot, it was also easy to get stuck on one clue. However, you can always consult the message boards at Her Interactive's Web site for help, clues, hints, and general support from an enthusiastic community of Nancy Drew lovers.

Little grumblings aside, The Final Scene really is a fabulous game that goes above and beyond most games out there right now, and is highly recommended for kids and adults alike. (Ages 10 and older) --Ara Jane Olufson ... Read more

Features

  • Use your best detective skills to help Nancy save her kidnapped friend
  • Discover hidden passageways and secret rooms
  • Untangle a web of secret deals and betrayals
  • Gameplay divided into three days for enhanced plot linearity
  • Ages 10 and older

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


26. Fisher Price Imaginext: Battle Castle
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008OE7T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Sales Rank: 388
Average Customer Review: 2.77 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Search for power, experience, and riches needed to build a castle and become king
  • Navigate your knight in various transports over vast plains, forests, mountains, and chasms
  • Free captured people from goblins, liberate & defend castles, and compete against knights
  • To get crowned king, penetrate Dragomont's lair and imprison his dragon

Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars mediocre software for avid Rescue Heroes fans only
Meteors have hit the planet, resulting in a series of widely scattered emergencies that require the Rescue Heroes to intervene -- and they need your help!!

The graphics are good, the intro is exciting .... but after that the game is totally mediocre. Four activities have three levels of difficulty, but they are quite tedious no matter what level you play. (1) Move around a water maze to rescue people in a flooded movie studio, and shoot a life preserver over a moving line of floating objects. (2) Navigate a maze on a rock face as you rescue stranded climbers while avoiding vicious eagles and snakes. (3) Aim a hose at brush fires so you can find and rescue animals on an African preserve. (4) Snowboard down a ski slope without hitting the shrubbery so you can dig people out from under an avalanche.

The hype is here, but the games are very boring. Your child has little flexibility or independence when performing tasks, and those tasks probably use only 2% of your child's brain power. For example, in order to dig people out of the avalanche, you click on the snow cave over and over, it doesn't matter where, until the person trapped within tells you how great you are -- and every time it's the same person in the snow cave. Each game is rather mindless in this way. There is little reasoning required and no skills acquired.

This is lame software that has neither educational value nor excitement. When there are so many worthwhile children's software titles out there, don't waste your money or your child's time on this lazy stuff. It may be worthwhile for the truly avid Rescue Heroes fan, but even that is doubtful. This was our first Rescue Heroes title. It is also our last.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lava Landslide
I gave this game to my son as an early birthday present. He's almost four and loves the Rescue Heroes. The reviews I read were mixed so I decided to buy it anyway. I'm really glad I did. Sure it's challenging, but it's a good excuse for the parents to get involved. First I did the hard parts for him, to show him what needed to be done. Then I guided him through them and finally he ended up doing it all by himself. He was so proud when he accomplished the hard tasks that he couldn't do at first!

Unlike most computer games this one requires the use of the arrow keys instead of the mouse. Well, it's always nice to learn new skills.
I can't wait to give my son the two other RH games I baught for his birthday. I have no doubt he'll love them too.

1-0 out of 5 stars Inaginext Pirate Raider
I gave it a 1 because they did not have a 0, to give. I bought this game for my son and I try to install it and it tells me that it has encountered an error. I go to the web site and it tells me what to do with that error, but after I do what it told me it does the same error thing again. My son and I both got so frustrated and finally gave up. I am returning it to the place where I purchased it for a full refund. Good luck for those of you that also bought this Horrible Game.

1-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating game for my almost 5 yr. old
I agree with other reviews that the mouse clicking is very difficult. It's difficult to maneuver the men around. My son tried for a few minutes, became so frustrated, I finished the one mission, but couldn't get him to do any more. Would recommend the I Spy software - ages 6-10, but he loves it! Don't have to know how to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yeah Pirate Raider!
My 7-year-old LOVES this game. He'd play from sun up to sun down if I let him. I hear him cheering and clapping in the other room and he's having so much fun!
I'm VERY anti-violence, so when he got this game I was concerned. I was pleased to discover that although the ships sometimes fire on each other, no people are ever involved. This makes it so much more abstract and less about killing. When you capture forts, you fire on canons only and never see people. When you capture other ships, your knife is used only to chop up fruit that's thrown at you by skeletons. Once you capture their gold, you're on your way to fulfill another mission.
Frankly, this game is so much fun I have to admit to playing it myself! ... Read more


27. Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate Raider
list price: $19.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LV6Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Fisher-Price
Sales Rank: 206
Average Customer Review: 2.77 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars mediocre software for avid Rescue Heroes fans only
Meteors have hit the planet, resulting in a series of widely scattered emergencies that require the Rescue Heroes to intervene -- and they need your help!!

The graphics are good, the intro is exciting .... but after that the game is totally mediocre. Four activities have three levels of difficulty, but they are quite tedious no matter what level you play. (1) Move around a water maze to rescue people in a flooded movie studio, and shoot a life preserver over a moving line of floating objects. (2) Navigate a maze on a rock face as you rescue stranded climbers while avoiding vicious eagles and snakes. (3) Aim a hose at brush fires so you can find and rescue animals on an African preserve. (4) Snowboard down a ski slope without hitting the shrubbery so you can dig people out from under an avalanche.

The hype is here, but the games are very boring. Your child has little flexibility or independence when performing tasks, and those tasks probably use only 2% of your child's brain power. For example, in order to dig people out of the avalanche, you click on the snow cave over and over, it doesn't matter where, until the person trapped within tells you how great you are -- and every time it's the same person in the snow cave. Each game is rather mindless in this way. There is little reasoning required and no skills acquired.

This is lame software that has neither educational value nor excitement. When there are so many worthwhile children's software titles out there, don't waste your money or your child's time on this lazy stuff. It may be worthwhile for the truly avid Rescue Heroes fan, but even that is doubtful. This was our first Rescue Heroes title. It is also our last.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lava Landslide
I gave this game to my son as an early birthday present. He's almost four and loves the Rescue Heroes. The reviews I read were mixed so I decided to buy it anyway. I'm really glad I did. Sure it's challenging, but it's a good excuse for the parents to get involved. First I did the hard parts for him, to show him what needed to be done. Then I guided him through them and finally he ended up doing it all by himself. He was so proud when he accomplished the hard tasks that he couldn't do at first!

Unlike most computer games this one requires the use of the arrow keys instead of the mouse. Well, it's always nice to learn new skills.
I can't wait to give my son the two other RH games I baught for his birthday. I have no doubt he'll love them too.

1-0 out of 5 stars Inaginext Pirate Raider
I gave it a 1 because they did not have a 0, to give. I bought this game for my son and I try to install it and it tells me that it has encountered an error. I go to the web site and it tells me what to do with that error, but after I do what it told me it does the same error thing again. My son and I both got so frustrated and finally gave up. I am returning it to the place where I purchased it for a full refund. Good luck for those of you that also bought this Horrible Game.

1-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating game for my almost 5 yr. old
I agree with other reviews that the mouse clicking is very difficult. It's difficult to maneuver the men around. My son tried for a few minutes, became so frustrated, I finished the one mission, but couldn't get him to do any more. Would recommend the I Spy software - ages 6-10, but he loves it! Don't have to know how to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yeah Pirate Raider!
My 7-year-old LOVES this game. He'd play from sun up to sun down if I let him. I hear him cheering and clapping in the other room and he's having so much fun!
I'm VERY anti-violence, so when he got this game I was concerned. I was pleased to discover that although the ships sometimes fire on each other, no people are ever involved. This makes it so much more abstract and less about killing. When you capture forts, you fire on canons only and never see people. When you capture other ships, your knife is used only to chop up fruit that's thrown at you by skeletons. Once you capture their gold, you're on your way to fulfill another mission.
Frankly, this game is so much fun I have to admit to playing it myself! ... Read more


28. Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand
list price: $19.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000066ST3
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Her Interactive
Sales Rank: 77
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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


29. Uru: Ages Beyond Myst
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008Z0IA
Catlog: Video Games
Publisher: UBI Soft
Sales Rank: 1742
Average Customer Review: 2.89 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Plunge into a world unlike any dreamt possible before. From the makers of the original Myst and Riven, this groundbreaking adventure beckons players to uncover the elusive secrets of the ancient D'ni civilization. Follow Yeesha, eccentric daughter of Atrus, to discover Linking Books, encounter descendants, and solve puzzles as you venture through visually stunning environments.


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Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is the next chapter of the Myst franchise and the most immersive and ambitious Myst experience ever created. The game is bigger, better, and more innovative than any of the previous Myst adventures. Players can move at their own pace, spending hours discovering visually stunning, real-time 3D worlds, solving a large variety of mind-challenging puzzles, and following an epic storyline. Players can continue to discover new areas of D'ni by downloading new maps, worlds, and puzzles.

The Story of Uru

The story of the D'ni civilization began when they established their underground empire on Earth some 10,000 years ago. While living beneath the Earth's surface, the D'ni practiced what they called the "Art of Writing," which enabled them to create links to incredible, alternate worlds of fantastic variety called "Ages," to which they could travel through "Linking Books."

The D'ni people thrived for thousands of years, but later met with a great catastrophe that all but ended their civilization. Their vast cavern was left uninhabited, and their Linking Books and Ages seemed lost forever.


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Then, in the late 1980s, a few humans from the surface discovered that cavern. One of these humans was Elias Zandi. He devoted the rest of his life to exploring and, eventually, restoring that ancient city in the D'ni cavern, preparing to one day reveal their discovery to those who were suddenly feeling irresistibly drawn to the cavern.

When he passed away in 1996, his legacy was divided between a foundation that he set up and his only son, Jeff Zandi. The foundation came to be known as the DRC (D'ni Restoration Council). As their name implies, they took on the task of physically restoring the ruins of the D'ni cavern. If you choose to visit the cavern at some point, you're sure to run into them.


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Jeff Zandi, on the other hand, was interested in learning why the D'ni civilization fell in the first place. He continued studying the teachings of Yeesha, by far the most talented of all the D'ni writers, and daughter of Atrus and Catherine. After years of learning, the younger Zandi is finally comfortable bringing others to an uru (a D'ni word meaning "large gathering" or "grand community").

On your way to the cavern, if you decide to join us, it might be a good idea for you to learn some of the great teachings of Yeesha. Experience the adventure of a lifetime, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

Game Features

  • Experience a new freedom of movement, a first for the Myst franchise: Explore each unique age in real-time 3D, moving your character effortlessly through the world without pointing and clicking.
  • Create a realistic character: Choosing from a wide variety of facial and clothing features, you will be able to create a male or female avatar that you will use to explore the world. The range of character options allows you to appear the way you look, or the way you want to look.
  • Explore the mysterious and graphically intense world of Uru. Uru's work-of-art style graphics will immerse and captivate you like never before.

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  • Follow an epic storyline: At the request of Yeesha, the eccentric daughter of Atrus, you'll journey through a variety of different ages, and discover the lost civilization of the D'ni people. As the story unfolds, you'll be drawn deeper into the D'ni civilization, and if you choose to download new content, the journey expands even further. You can explore new ages and areas of the D'ni civilization, unravel new mysteries, and adventure in a world that continually changes and expands. Exciting new content will be downloaded regularly, providing an adventure experience that is fresh and ever-changing.
... Read more

Reviews (220)

4-0 out of 5 stars ATI Drivers May Need to be Updated - Fun after that
When I first bought this game, I could not get it to run, in spite of the fact that I had the high end of the system requirements listed on the box. I went to ATI.com and downloaded new drivers for free. The game ran beautifully after that.

Things I liked about this game:
1. The graphics. Incredible. I especially loved the 3-D environment that allows you to spin around and look at everything, and gives you more freedom of movement than previous Myst games.

2. The sound. Wonderful, rich sounds that fit perfectly into the game.

3. The story. Apparently, this a matter of taste, as I see most reviewers here on Amazon really disliked the story. Personally, I found the story at least as engrossing as Myst: Riven, although not on the same level as Myst: Exile. I enjoyed learning more about the D'ni people featured in the Myst games. The main story revolves around Yeesha asking you to restore four pillars in order to make things right for a new group of people, called The Least. I found the story very satisfactory.

4. The end. Again, this appears to be a matter of taste. Most people don't seem to have cared for the ending at all, but I loved it. I didn't feel like it was just a prelude for the online game, which I have no intention of playing.

5. The puzzles. They are definitely challenging. If you don't like a challenge, or you don't want to use a good walkthrough to finish, this may not be the game for you. I loved the puzzles (with a few exceptions), and as usual, found them to blend seamlessly into the game.

Things I didn't like:
1. Camera angles. They were pretty good most of the time, but often I would find myself watching my avatar walking somewhere on a path I couldn't see to an area I couldn't see. You can change the camera to first person, but the game will pull you out of it for puzzles, which interrupts the flow of the game.

2. Load times. It takes about a full minute sometimes for a new area to load. Granted, that isn't long, but considering how frequently you have to enter new areas, it can get annoying. This is probably an unavoidable drawback of having such lush graphics in 3-D game.

3. Jump, die, reload. Isn't that what most experienced gamers really hate about some adventure games? To be fair, you don't die, you're simply transported back to a central start point. Which has to load. Then you have to click to go back to the age you were in, and wait for that age to load. Then, depending how far you were from your last save point, you get to go find where you were when you fell. This can get tedious, especially when you factor in load times. One puzzle requires you to do quite a bit of difficult jumping, and I must have had to go through the above sequence 30 times. For that, I knocked a star off my review.

4. You can't save wherever you want. Jumping and falling would not be so frustrating if you didn't have to sit through the constant reloading of areas. You would not have to sit through the constant reloading of areas if you could save right before you jumped in the same area. However, this is not allowed. You never save in this game at all, except by finding and pressing jouney clothes. These save your place in each age. (Puzzles save themselves automatically once completed.) This isn't a huge problem, but can be inconvenient, especially if you're doing a lot of jumping and falling.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game, but there are definitely some flaws.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Myst game for gamers
There are a lot of complaints people have with this game that I didn't. Let's deal with them.

First of all, let me say this - the part of the box that says "minimum system requirements" is actually (gasp) the *MINIMUM* system *REQUIREMENTS*. If you DON'T HAVE THEM, then DON'T COMPLAIN when the game doesn't run. If you have a cheaper version of a graphics card, and Uru doesn't like it, oh well - it tells you quite specifically what you need. Being true 3D, it's a lot more than the previous bunch. My system is by no means incredible or new, and it looked profoundly gorgeous and ran with nary a hitch.

Second, a lot of people seem to be having trouble with the fact that there are running and jumping puzzles. Well, with Exile, when they added the ability to free look, there were quite a few puzzles based around pointing something somewhere. Now, they add the ability to move freely, so of course there are going to be some puzzles involving that. There aren't many, and to anyone who's ever played a third person adventure game, they're basically trivial.

Third, there seems to be this general backlash towards the game design in general. Less emphasis on story (which I simply don't understand - there were journals and backstories everywhere, just like the last three...but whatever), more open-ended design, etc. It seems to me that these guys weren't trying to make another Myst game, they were trying to make a good adventure game, and they displaced it from the rest of the mythology on purpose. This is a game designed to appeal to everyone, not just the people willing to click through an endless slide show.

Fourth, people seem to not like the puzzles. I don't get this at all. Aside from one fairly arbitrary solution at the very end of the last age, all of the puzzles made sense and I felt were quite clever. Exile had this feeling going that each puzzle was in isolation and I never felt like any of them really related to the game that much; here, each puzzle is an important part of whatever world it's in, more like the first game than either of the other two. There was only one age that followed the solve, move on, solve, move on mentality, and it was themed - each puzzle had an obvious solution that turned out to be completely wrong, and something else had to be done. It was genius, I thought - every solution made me think "oh, THAT makes sense!" once I finally got it.

It's not perfect - the not picking up objects thing was irksome, the load times can be annoying on older machines, and the ending is a little weak. But this is a Myst game that finally felt to me like a real adventure game, not an austere exercise in puzzle solving. I felt like I was part of it.

So, I'd reccomend this more to broad gamers than specific fans of the Myst franchise (as if the plethora of one-star reviews wasn't enough to make that clear), but I didn't think that it was anywhere close to as bad as most of the people here are making it out to be. One of the best games I've played in the last year.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great game, marred by a few issues
For the past several months, I've been lucky enough to beta-test this graphically stunning and intellectually challenging game. Yes, there's no doubt that the controls take some getting used to (but you can re-configure them all in-game), and the idea of seeing yourself takes some getting used to, as well. The online launch is proceeding, albeit very slowly and deliberately in stages to ensure that everything works properly.

The game, while not a direct sequel to the Myst series (it's more of a parallel storyline), is a stunning foray into adventure gaming and a ground-breaking one as well. To my knowledge, there have been no "Massively Multiplayer" adventure games. Imagine a game that requires you to work together with three or more players to solve logic puzzles to unlock access to other worlds. That's something you can look forward to.

"Uru Prime" (the single-player portion) is utterly gorgeous, and tells a tale of a culture's pride before their fall. The story also exposes a much darker side to the D'ni culture that hasn't been seen before (if you've played any of the previous games), including slave-trade, extermination of other races, and corruption within the supposedly "utopia" of the D'ni Guild system (which was hinted at, in the books). The single-player storyline perfectly sets up the online portion, while allowing a decently satisfying gaming experience for those who decide to not explore deeper, and participate in the online portion, dubbed "Uru Live".

The biggest portion that attracts me about the online portion is the sheer storyline potential for it. With so many of the other MMORPGs out there, the story is a sketchy framework wrapped around the gameplay. So much of the gameplay in those games seems too repetitious to me. In Uru, the gameplay serves the storyline, not the other way 'round.

The game's creator, Rand Miller (who created "Myst" and "Riven" with his brother Robyn), envisions the online portion much like episodic TV. He even calls each new story installment as "episodes" The announcement recently that has made waves is that there will be a multi-lateral approach to "Uru Live" episodes; you'll receive in-game mail, get to read posts on a message board, and you'll also run across other players in-game. The biggest difference is that these players will actually be acting out the story, to help further it.

In fact, I ran into one of these last night, in my first foray into "Uru Live". Was interesting, to say the least.

The other big thing that has got my attention versus other MMOGs, is that the sheer evolution of the environments. The new worlds will become available at an estimated one every other month, and there will be smaller changes to the online game environment weekly, according to the game's designer.

No RPG, this: there's no levelling-up, no killing, and no dying. No experience points, no buying better armor/weapons, and no PvP killing. It's all about the story, about using yer "noggin" and working with your fellow explorers to solve the puzzles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but flawed game
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is an outstanding game with exceptional images, sounds and puzzles ... so why four stars and not five?

Uru has two significant flaws:

1) You can't save your game.

Your save points are set by touching each Age's seven Journey Cloths. It's the game designers - not the gamer - who determines save points.

Good save points make it easy for the gamer to explore alternate endings, and more importantly, to avoid having to solve the same puzzle repeatedly.

But unless you play Uru perfectly, some Journey Cloths are placed so that you must solve several puzzles multiple times.

2) Your avatar can walk, run, climb and jump.

Unlike Myst, Riven and Exile, Uru is no longer restricted to point-and-click movement from one scene to the next.

But there's a problem.

Your avatar is keyboard and mouse controlled, not joystick enabled. Its third person perspective is occasionally sloppy. Moreover, it can't use its hands when moving objects; that's a ridiculous constraint.

Uru's minimum hardware requirements are...

800 MHz Pentium/AMD Athlon
250 MB RAM
32 MB nVidia GForce 1 - 4 or FX/ATI Radeon 7000 - 9800 or better

Assuming you don't want long delays between Age loads, I strongly recommend, "or better."

My guess, Uru really wants a 2 GHz CPU with 1 GB of RAM and a 128 MB video card. Uru is designed for higher end hardware.

Uru also has hardware requirement gotchas. Here are some of them...

* 98SE is specific; no allowance is made for Windows 98.

* The video card requirement is precise: it's either a 32 MB nVidia GForce 1 - 4 or FX, or an ATI Radeon 7000 - 9800 or better.

No other video card will work, including lower end versions of nVidia or ATI Radeon.

* The "CD-ROM: 4x or better (not recommended for use with CD-RWs)" requirement is imprecise. Didn't fully appreciate it until I bought the expansion pack, which clearly states, "This game contains technology intended to prevent copying that may conflict with some disk and virtual drives."

Uru will not work properly in either a CD-R or CD-RW.

Finally, here's an Uru synopsis:

You begin in the Desert.

After touching seven Journey Cloths, you are given access to a linking book, which takes you to Relto (Island in the Clouds). Relto is your refuge and starting point between game sessions.

To solve Uru, you must transfer pillars from Teledahn (Mushroom Age), Gahreesen (Fortresses Age), Kadish Tolesa (Mechanical Age) and Eder Gira/Eder Kemo (Volcano and Garden Ages) from the Bahro (Pillar Cave) to Relto.

When all four pillars reside in Relto, you transfer them back to the Bahro and return to the Desert to solve its remaining puzzles.

3-0 out of 5 stars A step down for the series
Myst was great, Riven was insanely hard but genius, and Exile was spectacular, with perfect difficulty and great puzzles...with Uru, however, the series has gone slightly awry. The idea of an avatar isn't entirely terrible, but the ideas of kicking things into position and having to walk and jump accurately to progress are. As for the first one, just let us have an inventory, and have a set position for the items when we figure out where to put them back down! The soccer game that pervades Uru is absurd. And the need for nimble fingers has no place in the Myst franchise; if we want to test our ability to run and jump skillfully, we'll go play a platformer. Give us the ability to run and jump, sure, but don't make us master it in order to win the game.

A few of the puzzles in Uru, in my view, require a mental leap outside of the realm of logic, but others may disagree. In any case, I eagerly anticipate Myst IV: Revelation, and hope it will be less like this subchapter and more like Exile. ... Read more


30. Spongebob Squarepants The Movie
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000227VUS
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 27
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Join SpongeBob and Patrick on an epic and comedic quest to unexplored territory
  • 3 playable characters: SpongeBob SquarePants, Plankton, and Mindy (new)
  • Make the perilous journey to Shell City; huge 3D worlds based on the movie
  • Authentic voice talent and special cameo appearances
  • Non-linear game play allows players multiple paths for completing main objectives

31. Barbie Pet Rescue
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004TYCB
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Sales Rank: 1835
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Forget the cat litter, all-hours dog walks, and outrageous vet bills; Barbie Pet Rescue features some of the most realistic, adorable animalswe've ever seen in a computer program--and without all the work involved inowning a real-live pet. Visit Barbie and her kid sister Stacey at the Pet RescueCenter, where you'll wait for rescue missions, explore in the playrooms, or tendto pets in the Care Center.

Rescue missions come in over the phone or via e-mail; after learning which petis missing where, travel with Barbie on her scooter to one of three differentenvironments in which to search for one of eight lost pets. In many missions,you'll have to use your wits to figure out how to entice scared animals to cometo you, or how to retrieve pets trapped in trees or other sticky situations. Ifyou get stuck yourself, Barbie's full of helpful hints to send you on the rightdirection. With each successful mission, you'll receive a printable Paw & PurrAward that hangs on the PRC wall.

Rescued pets come back to the Pet Rescue Center with you and Barbie to wait fortheir owners and receive a little TLC. Nurse them back to health in the Care Center, where you'll give recovered pets water, treats, vitamins--evenbaths and brushings; sometimes you may also need to bandage a hurt leg or pickburrs from ruffled fur. After creating a file for them in the computer andgiving them a name you select from a list of suggestions, the animals go to oneof two playrooms to wait for their owners.

In the meantime, you can play with them, plus all the other pets already in theplayroom--a kitten, bunny, hamster, puppy, and even a turtle--in what is perhapsthe best of the game's activities: petting! Select which animal you'd like topet, then use the cursor to stroke an animal's head or back, or perhaps scratchher under the chin. The animals respond to your attention as they might in reallife, by licking, rolling over, purring, or barking. It's the next-best thing toa romp in the park with a real-live kitten or beagle.

There is a related game for each kind of animal--Kitten Keepaway, Puppy Treat Toss, Hamster Trail, etc.--and if you do well enough, you'll see theanimal do something especially cute. A few of the games test kids' logic andspatial aptitude, but mostly they challenge players' mouse mastery and hand-eyecoordination; a speedy "click" finger yields frequent success.

Our only complaint: once players have completed all eight rescue missions andthe activities in the playrooms, there's not a lot more to do. It's always funto pet the animals, but it's not likely to hold kids' attention for frequentreplay. That said, this graphically rich program is a real treat for any animallover. We plan on keeping this game around for those moments when wereally wish we had a dog around. (Ages 5 and up) --Leah Ball ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION ALL KIDS 3-9 YEARS OLD
This is the perfect way for children to help other things like abanded pets,and to adopt pets. It is a very cute game. I really love it. I think it is a great game for girls or some boys that are pretty young. It's great for kid's who love animals or have pet birds, cats, dogs, turtles, and bunnies. It encourages them to start to help out more with their pet (if they have one) I'm not making the choice, you are, I can only recommend you to get it, anyways all I'm saying is it's a wonderful game! To wrap it up(my opinion): my advice is: JUST GET IT ALREADY!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Game
This game was quiet enjoyable and the graphics were very good. You rescue different animals -- dogs, bunnies, cats ect. -- during the game. After rescuing the animals, you take them back to the 'PRC' (Pet Rescue Center) to give them a check-up and name them.
One of the things that's kind of annoying is that the animals Barbie rescues are always girls. I'm a girl, so it really shouldn't matter, but that makes the game pretty un-realistic.
Also, you'll find the animals in odd places that they couldn't get to or trapped in in real life. The adventures you go on to rescue the animal are always the same. And, Barbie will rescue turtles, which she really shouldn't be able to tell whether they are pets or wild.
Anyway, it was a nice game all around. I recomend it for eight and under. If your son or daughter likes animals, this would be the game for them!

4-0 out of 5 stars What A good Game
This game is great and I love all the games except the kitten keep away. But otherwise the game is the coolest and I am hoping to by one know and it would be so cool if you could send me one for free. Much love Britney.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay for a rainy day
My mom got me this game for christmas and I loved it. Now that was two yrs ago. Now I only play it when i'm really bored which is like never. One you get all your paw and purr awards it is just the same rescues over and over again.And also the thing that annoys me the most is that you can never keep any parrots once you rescue them. Also how do you know if the turtles were not wild to begin with? On the positive side the puppie kittens and rabbits were so life like. Overall a good game but play only if you are really bored and you need to pass the time.

5-0 out of 5 stars from a person that loves animals
I love this game! In it you get emails or telephone calls saying that different people need your help because they saw or lost an animal, and they need you to go help them. You don't have to go on these missions if you don't want to though. The thing that I don't like about it though is that there are only about fifteen missions to go on. Once you rescue an animal, you take them into the vet area to take care of them. You give them a bath, feed them, and do other things with them. There are some great games that you can play, like a turtle obstacle course/race, a game where you try to get the treat into the puppy's mouth, and a hamster maze. Sometimes the hamster gets out and you have to try and find him. Once again, I love this game! ... Read more


32. Thomas & Friends: The Great Festival Adventure (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005Y4QA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Atari
Sales Rank: 988
Average Customer Review: 3.25 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars XP issue
My son's had this game a while (I'm assuming it's the Hasbro Interactive branded game) and recently we upgraded his PC to XP.

Of course the game didn't work, but by selecting Properties on the game icon you can move to a Compatibility tab and run the game in 98/ME mode - Works fine like that.

Ryan's 7 now and the game is simple, but he still enjoys it from time to time, for its attractive graphics and Ringo's familiar naration.

I'd recommend this to anyone with a youngster interested in Thomas. Before we had this Ryan never went near the PC, now he's computer literate above his age (not entirely due to this game, but it piqued his interest).

1-0 out of 5 stars Dishonest, misleading system requirements
Who runs Windows 98 or ME anymore? Nobody. This software will not run on ANY NT-based OS, including 2000 and XP. I've tried.(..)

For Atari to continue selling this (I don't care who they bought it from) is criminal.

Do not buy this title unless you're running a 9x-based machine. Better yet, don't buy it at all or anything from Atari until they sell software that will run on operating systems that are not five years out of date.(..)

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work
I've got a dual boot 98/2000 system. It obviously wouldn't work under 2000 but neither would it run under 98. The furthest I've got is the end of the intro movie and it hangs. I went as far as reformatting the OS drive and reinstalling 98 and 2000 so they were both clean but it still doesn't work. Working for a games developer myself I know how little work is involved in ensuring a game is compatable with new OS's and more recent versions of DirectX. Releasing a patch wouldn't be too painful. But then Developers have a different agenda to Publishers. Don't let the Atari monika fool you. This is the same old Infogrames under a new name to try to disguise their past from newbies. Despite the fact this game is still appearing in the shops they won't support it. I don't know what their excuse is. The BBC has at least put in writing why they refuse to upgrade their games past win98/directX 7. Because (apparently) most game players don't use Win 2k or XP. Most game players use 98/ME. Excuse me? Any games player who knows anything about getting the best from their gaming experience will be using 2k/XP, certainly not 98 or the abomination that is ME.

In short ... if you've recently bought a computer for your child, don't expect this or other games in the series from the BBc or Infogrames/Atari to work without a considerable amount of effort.

3-0 out of 5 stars For small children
My son is almost 3 and this game is much to easy for him. Of course it being Thomas he still likes it, but the other games are much better. If your child is familer with the computer at all and over 2 1/2 dont' buy this, but for a first game it would be great!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not for a 2 yr. old
We gave this game to my 2 yr old, who loves trains. The game looks and plays well, my 4 1/2 enjoyed it, but my 2 yr old was unable to play it, due to the dependance of pointing-and-clicking. Once the kids master hand-eye-mouse control, then they should enjoy it. ... Read more


33. Oregon Trail II - Anniversary

Asin: B00003IEKF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Riverdeep - Learning company
Sales Rank: 2658
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Experience the expedition of a lifetime during the mid-1800's
  • Relive a period in time that changed the United States forever
  • Hunt for buffalo, barter for clothing, and cross treacherous rivers
  • An action-packed adventure the whole family can enjoy
  • For ages 7 and up

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wagons Ho!
Starcraft, Monkey Island, Medal of Honor, and Freelancer are exceptional games. Oregon Trail belongs among the great games. Oregon Trail II is great for the whole family. I think it would be a great game for teachers to show their students the difficulty the pioneers faced traversing from Illinois and Missouri to Utah and California. You will spend many hours figuring out how to start out as an artist and end up alive and wealthy in California. I suggest you start out as a banker first. Some will enjoy figuring out what medicines and other goods to take and others will enjoy hunting for meat on the trail and deciding which trails to take. I hope to see continued support of this game since my family has had it for years and we never tire of it. The best strategy is to take one of each essential item and then whatever else you can afford. It takes time to figure out what medicines are best for ailments. As for crossing rivers, if they are deep you better caulk the wagon, and if they are fast it is best to double team those horse. If you enjoyed this game you will love Oregon Trail 5. Good luck pioneer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Trail Mix
This is one of the greatest computer games I have ever played. I put it in good company with Monkey Island, Starcraft, Red Alert, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield 1942. These other games are more for adults or boys where Oregon Trail II is great for the whole family. The video is interesting but the game itself not only is fun but a great teaching tool. I think it would be a great game for teachers to show their students the difficulty the pioneers faced traversing from Illinois and Missouri to Utah and California. You will spend many hours figuring out how to start out as an artist and end up alive and wealthy in California. I suggest you start out as a banker first. Girls will enjoy figuring out what medicines and other goods to take and boys will enjoy hunting for meat on the trail and deciding which trails to take. I hope to see continued support of this game since my family has had it for years and we never tire of it. The best strategy is to take one of each essential item and then whtever else you can afford. It takes time to figure out what medicines are best for ailments. As for crossing rivers, if they are deep you better caulk the wagon, and if they are fast it is best to double team those horse. Good luck pioneer!

5-0 out of 5 stars HOURS of fun!
This game is the best! You are the "captain" of a train of wagons going out west in the 1800's. You can pick a number of people to go with you and pick their names and ages (I usually did my friends' names or the names of famous people). On the journey you encounter storms, food shortages, sickness, and desicions such as: If a person dies-keep going or have a burial? Where and when to stop and rest? How to spend the money you are given and what to do when you run out? And more. Overall, a great game! ... Read more


34. 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

35. 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

36. 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


37. 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
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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


38. 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
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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


39. Finding Nemo
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LZ1M
Catlog: Software
Publisher: THQ
Sales Rank: 157
Average Customer Review: 3.23 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

The stronger and more interesting of two games based on the movie, the eponymous Finding Nemo lets kids reunite father and son deep off the reef in Australia's waters. The game opens with Nemo and Marlin in their respective environments, the dentist's fish tank and the wild waters of the open sea. The two fish are linked by a small button at the bottom of the screen, and players can toggle between them as they complete various puzzles.

The game features all the original cast members, and in addition to classic lines from the film, they improvise new lines. Dory, voiced byEllen DeGeneres, is hilarious, and smaller characters--like Nemo's friends in the tank--get more time to show players their individual, funny personalities: clicking on each fish kicks off a short conversation. Although there's more watching than doing in the early stages of the games, Nemo fans will be enthralled. Later stages involve memory games, like following patterns while jumping on the backs of jellyfish. All the characters, including sharks and sea turtles, make extended appearances in Finding Nemo.

Like Nemo's Underwater World of Fun, this game has two primary issues: computer owners must pay close attention to system requirements (otherwise, movie scenes in playback stutter significantly) and gameplay itself lasts little more than an hour, if kids ace the tasks. Also, one caveat for education-minded parents: this game is clearly only for fun, not for--pardon the pun--schooling. But kids will need to look beyond the obvious to complete the tasks in this game, and it's the possibility for discovery that makes Finding Nemo well worth exploring.--Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

Reviews (30)

2-0 out of 5 stars The other version? Poor Quality Control Problem....
This is yet another pc game that could have been so good...The problem? Like the other 3 disney pc games we have, we had to go on-line to reconfigure our computer!!! It seems to be the SOUND that creates problems.

We bought the version for older kids, after reading the reviews here. Guess what? The voices for Nemo and others cannot be understood. It's as if someone put an old record on the wrong speed...high speed....everyone talks like the chipmunks! What we heard of the music and graphics however looked real good.

We're running these programs on windows XP and unable to get the program to work right out of the package, which is a real drag to an intelligent 5 year old and his mom! Bottom line, you probably have to go on line and get help to make the program work. OR you may have luck calling them...

With the exception of MULAN (has a great majonng game for kids...but you have to go on-line and learn HOW TO MAKE THE program work and reconfigure/disable a sound card or something like that....)We've sworn off of Disney pc games, at least for now....they're not worth the trouble.

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading, disappointing, irritating waste of time!
The Nemo's Underwater World of Fun game disk enclosed in with the movie DVD, was a big disappointment. My young kids were very excited then very upset. Until I read user reviews here on AMAZON, I thought I had a malfunctioning game rather than a DEMO disk on which only 2 of the 6 activities were accessible, rendering the prizes unwinable and the main games unplayable. And one of the 2 accessible activities, the Tank Gang music maker, seems buggy! Neither the disk, its sleeve, nor the read-me file indicated that it was only a demo, so my exercise in futility began: I installed and reinstalled it. I called the Disney phone number only to find the voice menu options to be misdirected, and at Disney Interactive on-line found no help nor mention of the demo version. FINE DISNEY, so you don't want to give away a free game, but why waste your ad dollars on such a stunt? Guess what, I've not been enticed into buying the real game, just irritated into a resolution to spend NO money on Disney computer games! (It's not your fault THQ (the game designer) we still love you.) I'm Sooooo glad that wonderful PIXAR's contract with Disney is ending!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars My son likes it, I can't stand it
We bought this for our five-year-old, who loved the movie. Why is it that all Disney games turn into annoying (and cloying) lead-ins or promos for the movie? Why do we have to watch endless clips of it? The games seem kind of uneven (some way too hard, others too easy), and sometimes the software seems to get 'stuck' (we need to back out and repeat the objective to get it to work). I like THQ and their software in general, I've just noticed that anything Disney-related gets bogged down in their desire to "Plug the movie! Plug the products!" My son does like it when he plays it, but it's been used a LOT less than I had anticipated. Gets 3 stars for good graphic and audio quality, but I'd give the game itself a two.

1-0 out of 5 stars terrible
I bought the finding nemo software for my daughter today and I sincerely regret it. It is one of the worst games I have ever purchased. The games dont work. You get nowhere. I would advise everyone considering this game to just save your money. My daughter was excited to get it until we installed it and tryed playing it only to find out it is a lemon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very cute
I just loved the movie, so naturally I bought the game. My sis and I have had these little, ummm...."problems" with games for kids 4+. We can't win them!! The older kid's games are easier. But that's what makes this game fun. I still can't win the "Surfin' With Crush" level though. "Nemo's Underwater World of Fun" actually has a story to it. Nemo wants to prove to his dad that he can move around just as well as any other fish. So Marlin sets up a "Super Swim Challenge" game, that will test Nemo's swimming skills. It goes from there in that you have to help Nemo win a certain number of "trophies" in each game in order to get up to level 5 in the Super Swim Challenge. After that, you can help Nemo prove to Marlin how good a swimmer he is. I love the games you can play. "Dory's Memory Match", "Surfin' With Crush", and "Tank Gang Sing-alongs" are just a few. Hope you have fun playing! I'm sure the kids will. ... Read more


40. Mia's Math Adventure: Just In Time!
list price: $29.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005O6QF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 78
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Disaster takes Mia and her family by surprise when her home catches on fire. By the time the mouse clan can make its escape to safety, the whole house is doomed. Now Mia has only one chance to restore order: Sam Squirrel, who once designed a time machine. If Mia can build the device on his blueprints, she might just be able to go back in time to prevent the fire.

Mia's Math Adventure is a role-playing game merged with a healthy dose of mathematics practice for kids ages 6 to 10. As Mia roams the area surrounding her scorched home, she encounters a plethora of characters who are out to help or hinder her. Players must solve logic puzzles just to help her get from one place to the next. Then, perhaps as things are starting to seem simple, a basic math drill will pop up and gameplay can only go forward after players supply the right answers to the computational questions posed.

This is one of those educational games that strives to offer children everything: top-notch entertainment, solid educational content, good characters, and unique, engaging animations. And where many games fail in this quest, Mia's Math Adventure delivers--for the most part. Some kids may find guiding Mia through the backyard and other game environments a bit of a chore, as the real-time navigation feature is clunky. The process of learning to get around can frequently trigger unneeded advice from the ever-helpful mouse. This is the sole complaint that can be made, however, about a game that is both a genuine learning experience and plenty of fun. --Alyx Dellamonica ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is Not Boring!
My four-year-old daughter is almost through level one now without my help. She complains that it is gboringh but then keeps playing it for more than an hour after her complaint. I think her frustrations come from being unable to easily and quickly navigate around Miafs world. Sometimes when I come to help her because she is stuck, I see that she has clicked on everything too quickly while trying to find what she needs to do next, so the game cannot properly respond. So far the math in level one has been no trouble at all. The difficult part was the days of the week, which she is now learning thanks to this fun, educational program. I look forward to seeing level two soon! The Math Rabbit program we had before this was truly boring for her. This is a welcome addition to our CD-ROM case.

5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous!!
This is a GREAT program. I use it for homeschooling my son. The graphics are gorgeous, and there are lots of math games to play-- you can either play them in the sequence of the story, or just pick and choose the math games from the "options" menu. The math itself is on the easy side, my six year old can play level two on most games and up to level four on others. I am a math phobe myself, though, and I wish I could have used this program as a child. So I would especially recommend it for parents with math-phobic kids, of any age!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Game
This game covers a wide range of difficulty. My 5 year old son plays on level 1, and he can answer the questions himself (he is very smart). My 7 year old son (also very bright) chooses difficulty level 2, and the questions are challenging for him. They have spent many hours playing Mia, and they have enjoyed it so much that we just purchased Mia Science and Mia Reading. Way to go Mia!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb graphics - my daughter loved it!
I bought this game to help my 6 1/2 yr old get up to speed on math. She really hates math and is very impatient when I try to teach her. Anyway, she loved playing this game and asked for it every day until she completed it (at level 1). Days later, she is still talking about her favorite parts of the game.

As to the learning of Math, it was not as much activity as I expected... however, the activities that are there are good quality. I did need to sit and help her the first time figure out what to do with each activity (The calculator was particularly hard to figure out how to get the results to display on the right hand side).

I am still searching for math software that actually teaches math, not just queries kids on what they already know. Mia is more of the latter than the former, however, I would buy it again. It is a quality product with superb graphics that my daughter loves. I will be purchasing the other MIA products (Reading and Science).

4-0 out of 5 stars On Target for age group
The pictures in this package are fascinating and my 7 year old daughter, who loves math,has played this exclusively for the last month. The math is just the right level to provide a doable challenge. It is rather short (or else we are missing something), but my daughter has played it over and over and enjoyed as much each time. It does have a level adjustment, but we have not used that yet. (Note: I like this better than Math Blaster 6-7). ... Read more


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