Awesome Animated Monster Maker
Awesome Animated Monster Maker (Houghton Mifflin Interactive – ages 3 & up) is not for kids who are faint of heart, nor for parents who are light of processor. This program crashed two different 486’s with 8 megs of RAM we were finally able to get it to run (barely) on a 486 with 16 megs of RAM. We say “barely” because it was so intolerably slow that we quickly lost patience. Who wants to sit and watch a spinning hourglass for 20 seconds every time a choice is made? Apparently most of the kids who looked at it; we assume they have a mainframe at home because they loved it, reporting no slow transitions or crashes. They found the program “fun, fun, fun!” and used adjectives like “disgusting” and “awful” (high compliments coming from 8 and 9 year olds) to describe their creations. They particularly enjoyed being able to throw together dozens of squishy, slimy body parts, as well as the ability to create and alter the monster’s personality. The kids giggled their way through the entire thing, and gave it a thumbs-up which is what counts.
– March 1996