Science & Nature
Invention Studio (Music Pen/ Discovery Channel Multimedia – ages 9 & up) is not quite as pretty asInventor Labs, nor does it run quite as well. So why do we prefer it? This program, despite several shortcomings – including a whiny host who almost ruins everything whenever he opens his mouth – allows for much more flexibility than Inventor Labs; rather than reproducing other people’s experiments, you’re free to create your own. You do this in the Virtual Lab, where you can choose to build vehicles (land and air) or gadgets (with pulleys, elevators, etc.). Try to solve a problem posed by the computer, or just go nuts and throw together whatever strikes your fancy. You can use the Brainstormer to work out your goals and potential problems before you enter the Lab, then lay down some blueprints and build the thing. Test your invention with the aid of a robot mouse or a robot pilot, and, if everything works right, head over to the patent office. Although there are not infinite combinations of available parts, there are more than enough to keep an imaginative child busy for many hours. It’s quite a kick to watch your gadget fly – or to watch it crash and burn, as the case may be.
– September 1996
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