BARNEY BEAR GOES TO THE FARM
Barney Bear is back. In Barney Bear Goes to the Farm, the second entry in this series for young children, Barney visits his grandparents' farm. This interactive tale includes short stories, games, and even a computerized coloring book.
Barney starts by performing his chores, such as milking cows and feeding chickens. Each chore is depicted in a still picture. Click on an object and you'll hear a sound or a voice telling you something about the object.
He then heads to the farmhouse, where he sits by the fire, reading stories and playing games. There are ten different activities in the program. Healthy Bears teaches children about how to be health conscious. The Seed tells how a seed is planted and grows. In the I Can Read activity, the program displays pictures often farm animals. When the child clicks on each animal, the animal makes a sound, and the program uses the Amiga's voice synthesizer to tell a story about the animal.
In the What Belongs to Me? game, a child must match one of five objects to an appropriate animal. The most entertaining game is the Silly Scarecrow Game, where you initially see a scarecrow in a field. By clicking on various arrows, you can change the head, body, and legs to form different, and often silly-looking, scarecrows. Finally, the program contains a coloring book with 12 black-and-white pictures for children to paint.
While the program appears relatively simple and basic to an adult, children enjoy it immensely. The Amiga's internal voice synthesizer, ignored in most programs, is used extensively, and my play testers accepted the somewhat stilted voice surprisingly well.
While Barney Bear Goes to the Farm is geared for the three- to eight-year-old age group, children over six may find the program uninteresting. The graphics and sounds are good, and children can get through most of the activities without having to read. The only negative aspect is the lack of animated sequences, which would make the program more interesting and exciting to kids. The program is a success, though, according to my six-year-old, who thoroughly enjoys the program.
Amiga with 1MB—$34.95