Gregory & the Hot Air Balloon
For some reason, Gregory & the Hot Air Balloon (ages 4-7) just rubbed us the wrong way. There’s nothing terribly wrong with the program, but there’s nothing terribly right either. Broderbund has delivered another “interactive storybook” with mediocre graphics (fancy color schemes don’t make up for average artistry), irritating characters, and pacing that’s about as fast as Bob Dole in leg irons. Gregory’s pet, a lizard (or something) who thinks he’s a dog, is the most aggravating sidekick since Tito Jackson. Things react when clicked upon, but there’s usually only one animation to fire, and they’re not exceptionally cute or entertaining. This is by-the-book interactive storytelling, and the book (as it exists) is nothing that enterprising designers should be following very closely. In all fairness, we looked at a beta of the program; it’s possible that the final version will contain more.