Adi’s Comprehensive Learning System
Adi, the alien host of Sierra’s Adi’s Comprehensive Learning System (2nd -5th grade, Math, English, and Science programs), is one incredibly irritating specimen of whatever it is that he’s supposed to be. His nasal, pitched voice whines through dialogue that is always much longer than it needs to be, while his physical appearance – bald, pointy-eared, dagger-chinned – does not exactly soothe the eye. He is not a manic, wacky, fun-for-kids imaginary friend; he’s an annoying little taskmaster. Except for Adi himself, however, the discs are quite good. The programs strike a solid balance between education and fun, rewarding the productive student with games, videos, and creativity tools. The lessons are presented in a variety of multiple choice formats (sometimes fill-in-the-blanks, sometimes true-and-false, sometimes straight multiple choice). You can always go and read the (online) text to learn the facts, or you can jump right in to the tests and take your chances. Surprising touches, like the inclusion of a musical instruments section where the music is all, inexplicably, disco, keep the proceedings interesting. Two years of curriculum are not exactly painless, but they pass much more pleasantly in this environment than in a classroom. If only we could replace Adi with somebody less aggravating – along the lines of Fran Drescher or Jerry Lewis.
– August 1996