Shades and JB’s Alphabet Workshop
Shades and JB’s Alphabet Workshop (SmartBytes – ages 3-6) is a perfectly fine program, but it lacks the spark that makes Alphabet Express so successful. The activities are age-appropriate, but not enthralling; the hosts, Shades and JB, are cute, though not exceptionally so; and there is a wide variety of places to go and letters to see. The best parts of the program are the rousing rendition of the alphabet and the sing-along. Games include Find the Letters, where you identify letters based on their sound; Pictures and Letters where you look at a picture of something to figure out what letter it begins with; Letter Neighbors, which deals with letter sequences; Match the Letter, for upper and lower case matching; and finally Changing Words, where you can substitute letters in a word to make a new one. This title is long on things to do, but short on energy and originality. Parents will like the fact that the program can be customized to reflect their child’s skill level.
– August 1996