Science & Nature
Adventures With Oslo: World of Water
For a CD-ROM that claims it will “make a big splash,” Adventures With Oslo: World of Water (Science for Kids, inc. ages 4-12) barely causes a ripple. The main menu is OSLO, a pseudo-electronic creature whose midsection is subdivided into options which include: a Coloring Book, where you can create art that rivals even the worst dot-matrix printouts; a Board Game, and a Sounds and Surprises area. If you click where OSLO’s lower gastrointestinal tract might be, you access a screen saver, just in case you want to step away from the program for more than a few minutes (and you will). All this has very little to do with water, except perhaps for the Sounds and Surprises option, which cues up a rendition of Handel’s Water Music. In fact, the only thing that really has anything to do with water is the Story option, which, when you click it, unfolds to reveal the Winston and the Great Water Cycle Story, a linear and plodding narrative that chronicles the journey of a water molecule. Click on icons within the text, and you are treated to – at worst – sloshing noises, and – at best – an explanation of the evaporation process supplemented with some lackluster animation. World of Water,for all the wetness of its subject, is surprisingly dry, and both educational content and entertainment value seem to have evaporated.
– September 1996
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