How Do You Spell Adventure?
CD-ROMs as How Do You Spell Adventure? a medium – and Sanctuary Woods as a company – seem to have more spins on the life of Robert Ripley than Cher has implants. First came The Riddle of Master Lu, which posited a globe-trotting Ripley who seduced lovely women and fought the powers of evil while picking up collectibles for his museum. Now comes How Do You Spell Adventure? (ages 9-14), which casts Ripley as an adventurer whose most effective weapons against the jungle include spelling, vocabulary, and reading skills. Run through a few simple arcade-style games reminiscent of Miner 2049er; pause every few seconds to spell or define something. There are also activities involving items from Ripley’s Believe or Not, which require you to match pictures of phenomena with short descriptions. The integration of education and entertainment is better than in many similar products – the puzzles pop up incessantly, even in the midst of the most action-filled moments. Unfortunately, the games themselves are pretty lame, which doesn’t motivate kids to stick it out through the vocabulary quizzes. You can also use the disc as a purely educational tool. In this scenario it grills you on spelling, vocabulary, and list-making in an SAT-type format. Avoid this part if at all possible. Better than a quiz but much less fun than a game, How Do You Spell Adventure? has its heart in the right place. If you think your kid might play it for more than a couple of hours, though, you’re sadly mistaken.
– August 1996