It’s hard to know exactly how to define P.A.W.S. (The Voyager Co. – ages 4 & up). It’s intended for kids, but it’s funny and weird enough to keep adults amused. P.A.W.S. is an acronym for Personal Automated Wagging System and bills itself as a “dog simulator,” which, in a way, it is. The simulation part occurs when you are in the navigation section. You can hunt for bones, dig them up and eat them, beg for food, explore the grounds, and have dog adventures. Or you can go back to your dog house for a nap. There are several barks available as well as sleep positions which bring up dream sequences. There is also a terrific anatomy section, where you can click on any part of a dog to see something that looks like a Rube Goldberg machine. Explore the brain, stomach and so on by clicking to make wierd, machine-like things happen. The last section is “aerodogs,” a silly space game. The animation is terrific, the humor witty and frequently subtle, and everything moves at a brisk pace. This is not for everyone. Some kids may find the absence of a clear plot confusing; others may find it boring, but most will find it very good fun.
– July 1995