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Yes, the Star Wars theme assured the attention of our kid testers before they even loaded the program. As they tackled the activities, even our rare skeptics admitted that it provided plenty of unmitigated fun. Kids especially loved capturing droids in various inventive (and non-violent) traps, traipsing noisily through eerie caves as lizards and spiders scamper to and fro, and collecting colorful pages of Star Wars trivia as rewards for solving geometric puzzles. Activities are challenging, but not frustrating, and successfully completed missions earn users printable certificates personally signed by Yoda, the ultimate Jedi Master.
Levels are designed to gradually increase in difficulty to keep challenging the player and to also introduce new concepts . It allows in some of the games for players to print out hard copies of their accomplishments to share with friends and family members. Another great reinforcement feature is that once all the levels are completed in a certain activity, the player may print out a certificate of completion which includes the player's name and is signed by Yoda himself! The wonderful part of this package is that it reinforces learning in a large variety of subject areas in six different games while using the Episode One theme. I am impressed that the program includes such educational features in its games as word configuration boxes, tangrams, and also aims to build music and geography skills. This program promises to keep young Jedis coming back for more training on the Episode One related themes for many missions to come.
The activities come up being half and half: Race to the Finish, Unscramble the Computer, and Programming C3PO are great learning activities, while Exploring the caves of Naboo, Trapping the Droids, and Jamming with the Band aren’t the most educational activities. While there’s lots to be learned here, it’s not a safe bet that they will appeal to most kids. Trapping the Droids, especially, could cause an uproar in your household, as it tries to teach rhythm; if your kid has no natural rhythm (like me) this will be a very frustrating activity.
Das sagt der Lehrer: Eine für Kinder, vor allem jene, die Star Wars kennen, höchst motivierende Software. Der Wissenszuwachs hält sich jedoch in Grenzen. Das sagt der Schüler: Das sieht aus wie ein Computerspiel.
GOOD NEWS: Great characters that kids like. Lots of animated shorts. Narrated by Yoda. BAD NEWS: Some games are way too easy and others are too challenging for an eight-year-old.
Yoda's Challenge represents a valiant effort to teach those between the ages of six and eight, but I'm just not sure it succeeds in doing so. Still, if your child is as mad about Star Wars as I was at that age (and still am for that matter), then they're sure to keep with it for at least a little while. But that could be it -- just a little while. Though Yoda puts his name on the title, the Force is not very strong with his challenge.