Global Spanish (Systems Integrated Research/Mindscape) is intended as a comprehensive language course, incorporating lessons, games, tests, and drills, but it’s actually no more useful, and much less portable, than a slim phrase book. The interface is crowded, and the absence of an introductory “how to” segment makes for a confusing start. Interactive instruction is limited to the exercises for vocabulary words and sentences, and important concepts are often left unexplained. For instance, verbs are shown in tables of twelve at a time, providing no clue about the important system of Spanish tenses and conjugations. As for grammar, you get a series of terse, clinical Help screens that presume a solid background in English (British English, that is) syntax. Graphics are primitive, icon animations are awkward, and there’s a cheesy faux-Iberian MIDI soundtrack that dogs the user through most of the course (perhaps the “sound off” switch near the end is mean to be a reward for diligence). The price of this disc would be better spent on a Michelin guide and a Langenscheidt pocket dictionary.
– February 1996