Picks and Pans Review: Dinosaur Dig
Who can forget studying the dinosaurs in grade-school science class? Creatures such as the Tyrannosaurus rex and Stegosaurus were marvelous monsters, guaranteed to capture any kid's imagination. With so much entertainment and educational value going for it, this software package seems promising. Its collection of animation, text and games represents the most superficial kind of educational programming, however. One disc is a kind of electronic picture book, similar to the sort you may have looked at in school—the push of a button makes one dinosaur chew its food or another crane its neck. While the animation deftly illustrates some points, kids already watch enough cartoons. The second disc offers five games that pick up on the material "taught" by Disc One. "Dino Dig," for example, challenges the user to guess a dinosaur's identity based on a series of clues offered one at a time. Real-life paleontology is, one hopes, a lot more engrossing. Ironically the program guide that accompanies the software duplicates much of the information on the discs and in a more accessible logical form: the good old printed page. A child could learn quite a few things about dinosaurs from this software, but for the price he or she could get a lot more out of a few well-chosen books. (CBS Software, $49.95)
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