Atlas & Geography
There’s more than geography to GeoSafari (Educational Insights Interactive – ages 8 & up) – there’s also history, science, and the mellifluous voice of Richie Havens to hold it all together. The program is so simple that our usual put-down (akin to the Apple II) is, in this case, far too generous. GeoSafari brings to mind the original Odyssey home video system, where you had to scotch-tape a plastic screen onto the front of your TV to provide a setting for the big dollops of light you moved around. The idea that any new program could be that low-tech is stunning, but, in this case, it’s very nearly true. Choose one, two, three or four players, then answer multiple choice questions about subjects like geography, literature, space, insects, and more. Mr. Havens reads the questions aloud, and sometimes a very short video clip plays to illustrate the point. Other than this astounding use of multimedia, there’s nothing here that couldn’t be accomplished with a Yes or No invisible-ink booklet. This is one of those games that kids would prefer to attending class, but just barely – any teacher who tries to use it had better be prepared to circle the classroom endlessly, cracking the whip and turning off games of Tetris.
– June 1996