September 2001

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.


Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender from Knowledge Adventure

If you're a fan of Jurassic Park, the recent series of science fiction movies from Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, then you and your kids (ages 7 and up) should check out the three new action games from Knowledge Adventure, based on that popular movie.

After a quick installation from CD, and you sign in, you will begin your training so that you can compete the challenge that awaits you.  Your goal is to capture the dinosaurs that have escaped through the deactivated electric perimeter fences (knocked out by a violent storm) and then re-activate the fences.  You must brave the dangers of the Jurassic Park (animal and geographic), as you work to complete your mission.  If you're not careful, your death will be quick, either by the teeth of a dinosaur or the dangerous terrain.  Don't worry, if you make a mistake, you'll end up back on your feet at the beginning ready to start over.  This is 3D graphics adventure with very realistic sound effects and that will keep you and your kids busy for hours.  Kids will earn Dino Defender badges for each dinosaur species they capture.  Seven species will be found in the park:  Compsognathus, Velociraptor, T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Pteranodon, Brachiosaurus and Spinosaurus.

It's a good idea to start the training program before you go into the park and take the challenge.  A narrator takes you through the controls and offers advise so you can accomplish your goal once in the park.  It does not require a game controller, but takes you through all the movements and actions using the keyboard.  Once in the park, you have must find the supply boxes needed to complete your mission and stay alive.

I have to say, my 10-year-old daughter, Sarah, was not impressed with Dino Defender.  She said it was difficult to play and didn't have enough action.  However, lately she's been very active with the popular Nintendo 64 game system and Game Boy Advance, playing mainly action games that move along quickly and are highly interactive.  Also, it seemed difficult to learn the controls in Dino Defender, and you had to do that before starting your mission.  After completing the training program and then entering into the park, it was hard to stay alive unless you knew the controls well and acted quickly.  It took me several tries before I was able to pass the first group of dinosaurs.  Each time I was attacked, it sent me back to the beginning.  I can see why Sarah lost interest quickly.  Another consideration is the violent nature of the game.  Of course, Jurassic Park is a violent, but exciting movie, but it may not interest most girls, yet boys love the action and adventure.  So, Dino Defender may not be appropriate for girls, but boys will love it.

Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender has a street price $29.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, 233 MHz Pentium  or faster (recommended) with Windows 95/98/NT 4/2000/Me, with 64 MB RAM and a 16X CD-ROM drive.  It will also run on a Macintosh G3 233 MHZ or faster, OS 8.1 or higher, with 64 MB RAM and a 24X CD-ROM drive. 

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

Knowledge Adventure, Inc.
19840 Pioneer Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: 1-800-545-7677