January 1999

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

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JumpStart Learning Games: Music and Numbers from Knowledge Adventure and Sesame Street Search & Learn Adventures from The Learning Company

JumpStart Learning Games: Music and Numbers from Knowledge Adventure

A new series of inexpensive educational games just arrived from Knowledge Adventure and they're looking and sounding great. JumpStart Music and JumpStart Numbers offer lots of learning for about half the price of their other series of educational CDs, for kids ages 5 to 8.

In JumpStart Music, your goal is to help Hopsalot the Rabbit bring back the music snatched away by Sir Sour Note and his band of violin villains. In your quest, you'll learn everything there is to know about music including melody, harmony, rotation and musical scales.

After you sign in, you'll arrive in the Land of Music where you direct Hopsalot on the path to music fun and learning. In your journey, you'll see D'miner Diner, Soprano Falls, Sax 5th Avenue, Horn Hollow, Empire String Building, Reed Road and more while searching for those nasty sour notes. As you wander the land, you'll find characters and musical instruments that you click on to access the activities which include finding the wrong notes in a tune and repeating a drum beat using the spacebar. You can even write music, and then play it back.

In JumpStart Numbers help Frankie the Dog collect dog biscuits as you play arcade-style games to learn addition, subtraction, sequences, counting and more. For the price, JumpStart Numbers is a real bargain because it covers math from preschool through third grade, the level selectable after entering your name.

After an animated introduction, you'll find Frankie the Dog in bed dreaming about food: dog biscuits off course. Above his head are three bubbles for accessing the activities. The goal is to collect a total of 300 biscuits to win. Click on the Tropical Island bubble to learn about numbers and grouping, enter the Wild Western Town for number target shooting (using bones) and travel into Deep Space to collect the correct number of asteroids to complete addition and subtraction problems.

JumpStart Music and JumpStart Numbers sell for a street price of $12.99 each and run on any multimedia PC, 486DX2/66 MHz or faster with 16 megabytes of RAM and the Apple Power Macintosh with 12 megabytes of RAM. Both systems require a quad-speed CD-ROM drive. And as with all Knowledge Adventure products, if you're not completely satisfied with a CD, just return it for a refund or exchange. For more information contact Knowledge Adventure at 1-800-545-7677, or visit their Web site at knowledgeadventure.com.

Sesame Street Search & Learn Adventures from The Learning Company

Okay, kids (and parents) are you ready for some computerized fun and learning with your favorite Sesame Street characters? Then you should enjoy Sesame Street Search & Learn Adventures from The Learning Company, for kids ages 3 to 6.

Help that wacky Muppet detective, Sherlock Hemlock, find clues, complete puzzles and solve mysteries on Sesame Street for a real-world learning experience with seven activity areas covering more than 20 skills. Your goal is to find the missing Muppets' party items. On your quest, you'll visit Zoe at the Castle Gate, help the Count build a stained glass window in The Castle Hall, fix a picture in the Count's Chamber, play a matching game called Finders Keepers with Big Bird, learn about recycling in Oscar's Corner, help Grover find an item that doesn't belong and play the Room Service Game at the Furry Arms Hotel.

You'll find many of those lovable Muppet puppets with the music and sounds of Sesame Street for your educational entertainment. And if you're not completely satisfied, The Learning Company will refund your money.

Sesame Street Search & Learn Adventures sells for $19.99 and works on any multimedia PC, 486/66 or faster machine and the Apple Macintosh, 68040 processor or better. Both computers require a double-speed CD-ROM drive and 8 megabytes RAM. For more information contact The Learning Company at 1-800-716-8506 or visit their Web site at learningco.com.

Howard Berenbon