Devil’s Canyon: A Dinamation Adventure
The best educational software we saw for older kids this issue was Devil’s Canyon: A Dinamation Adventure (Teramedia – ages 8-12). This imaginative, ingenious program hits all the right buttons, starting with its choice of subject matter. You’ll learn about dinosaurs (and, along the way, geology, prehistory, and scientific process, among other things) by getting behind the wheel of a “cyberraptor,” a sort of dinosaur robot. Before you can travel back in time to save the inventor of the cyberraptor, who has been unfortunately stranded, you’ll need to re-educate the robot, which has had its data banks wiped clean. You do this by leading it through a series of educational exercises in a virtual Devil’s Canyon. Learn about layers of rock, carve out a fossil using dynamite and a picksaw, then take your bone back to the laboratory and get busy with a toothbrush. Be gentle, or you’ll have to start all over again. Scientists help out along the way through a video display conveniently mounted on the cyberraptor’s dashboard. Most adventure games require you to learn a wealth of fictional information and skills before you can claim victory; Devil’s Canyon works the same way. It just so happens that the information and skills are real, which means, technically, that you’re learning something of value. Fiction could not be more fascinating.
– August 1996, Kids’ Education