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

Zoombinis Logical Journey

Zoombinis Logical Journey

Spring 2002 Software
Ages: 8 & Up
Price: $24.99
Platform: Mac OS, Windows 95 / 98 / Me / XP / 2000
This isn't exactly brand spankin' new software, but TLC knows when it's got a classic on its hands. So it slightly altered the name of the game, punched up the already engaging problem-solving adventures that made the original so original by adding better graphics and playability, and then released the beast as the "2002 edition."

For those of you who aren't familiar with this fun excursion into logic and math that debuted four years ago, the Zoombinis are a population of little creatures who need help escaping Zoombini Island to freedom. To do so, the Zoombinis must overcome 12 fantastic challenges--all of them activities whose silly and offbeat puzzle camouflages the brainwork required to succeed. Take Pizza Eating Trolls: To get each Zoombini past the finicky gatekeeper, players have to test hunches and hypotheses to determine the gatekeepers' preferred pizza-topping combinations. At the Mudwall puzzle, throwing mudballs becomes a rowdy exercise in coordinates graphing and deductive reasoning, using colors and symbol combinations that, when chosen correctly, catapult Zoombinis over the wall and on to the next challenge. All of the activities require thoughtful strategy that players either must figure out on their own, or they can click the help icon for a little advice.

This version of the game is more durable and offers better replay value since it offers a choice of four levels of difficulty for each activity and changes the solutions, even some of the games, every time players log on. The software comes with a pack of Zoombini playing cards--but the real prize is in the puzzles.

Don Oldenburg   ©2002 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.

Look for this product at:
Riverdeep/The Learning Company
Online Retailers
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