My First Amazing World Explorer
Kids who are too young for Carmen Sandiegoshould take a look at My First Amazing World Explorer (DK Multimedia – ages 4-9), a geography CD-ROM where goal-orientation takes a back seat to freewheeling exploration. For those who need structure, there are self-contained activities in the virtual bedroom, and overall goals to keep in mind as you explore the world. The bulk of your time, however, will be spent pointing and clicking as you browse sparkling, high-production models of the continents. Each cartoony locale has a few landmarks that are exaggerated; in America, for example, icons include (among others) the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty. Click on a picture to get more information, and play the activity if one is available. Activities involve pasting stickers in your sticker book, sending a postcard, taking a guided tour, or earning credit towards watching movies. The program teaches map-reading skills and geography even as it alludes to many cultural and historical details. Our only complaint: the practice of offering movies as the program’s ultimate reward, which has surfaced in several other CD-ROMs recently, is extremely vexing to us. If the paramount application of CD-ROM technology is, basically, watching TV, why did they bother to make the disc in the first place? Just one of our many pet peeves.
– June 1996, Atlas & Geography