There’s only so much a program can do to assist the creative process of writing, and Creative Writer (Microsoft Corp. – ages 8 & up) does just about all of it, effectively and simply. A “virtual house” makes navigating simple and fun. Everything is cartoony, from your animated guide McZee to the fire pole that takes you from floor to floor (and activity to activity). In the Idea Workshop on the top floor, random goofy sentences (“The singing waiter fell in the black hole”) or category-arranged goofy pictures (a knight guarding a castle) can ignite your creative spark. Once you settle down for heavy-duty writing in the Writing Studio, you have lots of puffy, colorful icons that let you do all kinds of neat stuff. Add stickers, drawings, or squeaky, bloopy, flatulent sound effects. Make posters, cards, or a newspaper. There’s spell-check and a thesaurus at the ready, and McZee can help if you’re confused. There’s a lot to be done do with Creative Writer, and just because it’s so much fun doesn’t mean you can’t use it for school work as well.
– August 1995