History & Mythology
Pyramid: Challenge of the Pharaoh’s Dream
Pyramid: Challenge of the Pharaoh’s Dream (McGraw-Hill Home Interactive) is an educational adventure for kids 10 and up. Explore an ancient Egyptian pyramid, go back in time to see how it was built, and even lend a hand. Learn about Egyptian culture, religion, and daily life by interacting with a cast of cartoon characters including merchants, workers, and citizens. Whenever the program is teaching ancient construction methods, it is fascinating: kids have to find true north, make papyrus, paint hieroglyphics, use physics to manipulate huge stones, embalm the pharaoh’s body, and more. When it is teaching about culture, however, the disc is less involving. Read text and interact with characters whose over-simplified appearance clashes miserably with some of the fancier 3D fly-bys in the program (created by Academy Award-winner Dream Quest Images). A confusing interface that throws you right in without explaining anything doesn’t improve the Pyramid experience, but we were looking at a beta version of the program, so it’s possible this problem will be corrected in the final release.
– November 1996