3-D Dinosaur Adventure. (educational software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Rick Broida
Talk about a comeback! After 65 million years of extinction, dinosaurs are again in the limelight, touring the multimedia circuit and starring in Knowledge Adventure's terrific multimedia program, 3-D Dinosaur Adventure.
Falling squarely into the edutainment category, 3-D Dinosaur Adventure packs a wealth of dino media onto a single CD. With its virtual-reality dinosaur-theme-park setting, 3-D Dinosaur Adventure opens doors to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods and offers numerous dino activities in each.
The meat of the disc is the Dinosaur Reference area, an interactive encyclopedia covering 150 million years of paleontology. Visitors can access different time periods by clicking on either a globe or a time line, or by letting the narrator read his way from subject to subject. Colorful, detailed illustrations accompany each passage.
For younger users, there's the Dinosaur Storybook, a short but nicely illustrated history of the giant critters. Like the encyclopedia, the Storybook is read aloud. A simple click of the mouse flips pages.
A major attraction is the movie theater, which features 30 "live action" films. These vary in length and subject, but all are entertaining. Some are humorous, a few even moving, and most will leave you wondering, "How'd they do that?"
Still more activities fill the park: an eye-popping 3-D dinosaur museum (two pairs of 3-D glasses are included), a couple of well-done dinosaur quiz games, the amusing Create-A-Saurus (design the world's first wood-paneled velociraptor!), and a strange virtual-reality game called Save the Dinosaurs.
Overall, 3-D Dinosaur Adventure is a superb package. Wonderfully rancorous sound effects abound, and the software is a snap to operate. It's the perfect diversion for kids of all ages.