The Amazon trail. (computer game) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Robert Stone
Imagine yourself deep in the heart of the Amazon rain forest. Danger lurks all around you: stinging catfish, whirlpools, disease, and even headhunters! An Incan king desperately needs someone to find some cinchona, a medicinal plant used to cure malaria, and deliver it to the hidden city of Vilcabamba. Can you save the king and this people?
The Amazon Trail, from MECC, is an adventure game presented in a fact-filled, educational format. In this game designed for ages 10 and older, the player learns by exploring the vast jungles and rivers that make up the Amazon River basin. The game aids in the development of reading comprehension skills through the use of maps, object identification, and decision making. On your journey, you'll discover hundreds of facts about South American history and culture, as well as the ancient Incas. You'll also meet some of the actual industrialists, scientists, and explorers who left their mark on the Amazon.
Need help identifying a particular plant or animal? No problem. Just jump to the guidebook feature from anywhere within the game. There, you'll be given correct pronunciations, detailed pictures, and brief descriptions of the plants, animals, people, and objects that you find on the trail.
Detailed graphics and 3-D animation fill the screen with lifelike images of people and villages. The animals and birds come alive in bright, radiant colors as they move through the jungle. You'll hear the sounds of the rain forest amazingly reproduced in the form of howling monkeys and growling leopards.
The Amazon Trail is a superb educational program that will surely appeal to children. Easy to play and to understand for any child whose reading skills are at the fifth-grade level or above, this game offers a good balance of education and adventure without any complicated tasks to perform or frustrating clues to decipher. Parents and children alike will love thsi entertainingly interesting offer from MECC.