If you liked exploring the Manhole, take your next trip with Cosmic Osmo. Activision has released a new HyperCard-driven story, and it's even better than the first.
Fire up the engines of your spaceship and take off for outer space. To launch your ship, just click on one of the buttons on your control panel. The lights dim, the stars pass behind you, and a crater-pocked planet comes into view. Explore this world and others by clicking on objects such as craters, doors, and pages of books. As in the Manhole, each place is linked to others in unusual ways. You enter one room through a book on one planet and leave it through a giant space fish's mouth. The fish seems unrelated to the planet, but, somehow, you've passed through a cosmic portal.
Throughout the hyperjourney, the animation is whimsical and smooth. Click on the flag planted in the surface of the first planet, and the banner waves.
Besides the moving pictures, there's terrific sound. The guns go bang, the phone goes brrrring, and snare drums go rat-a-tat. The synthesized voices are very clear, and each character has its own sound.
Cosmic Osmo is good for young children because they don't need to know how to use commands or menus: they just click and go. It's also a fun story for older children and adults.
For information, contact Activision, a division of Media-genic, 3885 Bohannon Drive, Menlo Park, California 94025; (415) 329-0500. Cosmic Osmo retails for $69.95.
Math is for kids—and sometimes for talking rabbits. Take Math Rabbit for example. He's a whiz at numbers, and he can teach your children arithmetic acrobatics, too.
The Learning Company has released its popular Math Rabbit program for the Macintosh. Using four circus themes, the program leads kids through the fundamentals of numbers: singing clowns teach kids to count, a tightrope practice teaches kids to identify groups, a circus train teaches addition and subtraction, and fortune-telling cards teach kids to match totals to equations.
Every time your child completes a game successfully, Math Rabbit leaps around, dances, turns flips, and celebrates in other funny ways. The animation is very good, and some adults might be enchanted by the friendly rabbit before their children get a glimpse.
The real charm of the game, though, is the sound, A woman's voice gives instructions for the game. The same voice says "Uh-oh" when your child makes an error. It's a gentler error message than the traditional beeps or buzzes that you hear in other programs. In the tightrope practice, you drop unneeded boxes into a swimming pool, and you can hear the water splash as they hit.
The program retails for $59.95, Contact The Learning Company at 6493 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, California 94555; (800) 852-2255.
From Other Worlds
Electronic Arts has just released The Bard's Tale, Volume I, a fantasy adventure game for the Macintosh, Your goal In the game is to assemble a party of adventurers and stop the evildoings of Mangar, a nasty wizard. Your characters have attributes and strengths that affect your progress. You fight battles and wield several magic powers. Of course there's a maze of dungeons, town streets, and towers. The Bards Tale retails for $49.95. For more information, contact Electronic Arts, 1820 Gateway Drive, San Mateo, California 94404; (415) 571-7171.
Now that SuperCard is available, you need a reference book to go with it. COMPUTE! Books has released The Complete SuperCard Handbook by Dan Gookin. It retails for $23.95. You can get more information about this book from COMPUTE! Books, Chilton Book Company, Chilton Way, Radnor, Pennsylvania 19089; (800) 345-1214.
—Heidi E. H. Aycock