Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Evolution: The Game of Intelligent Life

Evolution: The Game of Intelligent Life

1998 Software
Ages: 13 & Up
Manufacturer: Discovery Channel
Price: $39.95
Review:
Ever occur to you that all species are endangered? This intense strategy game that begins with some the first critters to crawl from the primordial soup can be very convincing of that. Testing Darwin’s theories, players choose from four era-spanning scenarios (the longest takes 360 million years, or 4-6 hours of real-time play) and 160 incredibly detailed and animated species—from dinosaurs to sabre-toothed cats to early birds to, yes, homo sapiens—even some made-up creatures. To reach the ultimate goal of evolving the planet’s first intelligent species, your creatures must thrive to survive. That entails choosing climate, habitat, food supplies and geology wisely, avoiding setbacks from disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and ice ages, and beating out other species (play against up to five computer opponents or against five networked players). But the real struggle here is against the forces of nature—which also evolve as the game progresses. Some creature violence to be sure (though not gratuitous). But the stirring soundtrack and realistic creature noises round out this remarkable exercise in learning about evolution firsthand.
Don Oldenburg   ©1998 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.


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