Carmen reveals her makeover in this new multi-subject quiz game. Her appearance has changed, but the game quality is still quite high. This time, Carmen and her Knowbots are creating havoc by stealing ABC order, swiping radio waves and committing other annoying crimes. Kids must travel to various locations on the globe, match wits with the Knowbots and capture Carmen's corrupt associates. The Knowbots are real know-it-alls, experts in science, math, language arts, music, geography and history. Quiz questions are all multiple choice but take on different formats such as true/false, matching and sequencing. There are many game play options, for instance, the game can be played with one to four players, cooperatively or competitively, and custom questions can be added. In general, this is a likable program and a great vehicle for brushing up on facts and subject area knowledge. It's humorous and also smart- the software remembers what questions you've missed so it can ask them again. Weaknesses of the game include a confusing set of initial directions. You are bombarded with so many instructions at the onset that it's hard to remember what to do and how things work. Also, the program is reading dependent- the multiple choice answers are not read aloud. While this is a good feature for competent readers, it leaves younger kids or struggling readers behind. Teaches: science, math, art, music, geography, reading, history Age Range: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Copyright © 2000 Children's Software Revue
Carmen Sandiego is up to her old tricks yet again. This time she's after all knowledge ever discovered by the human race. With a fleet of "knowbots" dispersed around the world and a six-pack of accomplished thieves to direct these insidious machines in their work, she is determined to give herself a monopoly on information. "Knowledge is power," Carmen says, and if ACME can't stop her, soon she will be the most powerful woman on earth. As a new agent of ACME, you try to trap the knowbots and destroy them by correctly answering a series of questions on topics ranging from art history to math. The quizzes come in a variety of formats, and most are timed, making it essential to answer as quickly as possible. You may team up or compete with other players as you try to destroy the knowbots. Doing so allows you to collect clues that lead to Carmen's minions and, ultimately, to the arch-villain herself! As with most quiz-format games, some aspects of play in ThinkQuick soon become repetitive. The game's verbal instructions, though they are intended as comprehension skill builders, are sometimes on the vague side. Despite these minor flaws, ThinkQuick is flexible and combines a nice range of games and puzzles. In addition to permitting multiple players, it also offers online play. Player avatars come in both genders and have adjustable skin tones. Carmen Sandiego's ThinkQuick Challenge is a well-rounded educational game, challenging players' problem solving, reading comprehension, and general knowledge (among other abilities) while offering plenty of entertainment besides. These pluses, along with the game's engaging sense of humor, make it a admirable successor to the earlier Carmen games. So sign in with ACME, and let the chase begin! --Alyx Dellamonica
Windows 95/98/XP(works on Windows ME)*, Pentium 133 MHz+, 16 MB RAM, 25 MB hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM, 640X480 256 colors, sound card.
*We were not able to run this program on Windows Vista Home. Macintosh 100 MHZ Power MAC+, System 7.5.1+, 9.5 MB RAM free, 30 MB free disk space, 4X CD-ROM, 256 colors.