WORLD DISCOVERY DELUXE (Great Wave Software, (408) 438-1990)
Social Studies / Ages: 8 and up
Platform: Hybrid CD-ROM
If you have to learn world geography, why not have lots of fun doing it? World Discovery Deluxe is an interactive approach to learning geography which offers so many games and quizzes that it could keep a youngster busy (and entertained) for a very long time. Games can be set for 1-6 players, and scorekeeping adds competitive interest. The program has been highly motivating with many age groups in ComputED's learning lab.
In the main screen, the user chooses the type of game or quiz, and has the option of selecting from categories including Country, State, Capital, Major City, etc. In some areas, one can zoom to subtopics such as flags, rivers, national parks, state flower, points of interest, and even choose a view (e.g., topographic). GAMES: Games can be as easy as "Map Match," where the name of a country, state, or object is selected from a dropdown menu; then the shape of the selected item follows the cursor, and the user must find its match on a map outline. Games get progressively harder: "Locate It" requires the user to select a place from the dropdown menu and then point to its location on the map; in "Identify It," the location blinks, and the user must select from a name list. Then there is the Puzzle Pieces game, in a jigsaw puzzle format; or the challenging "Genius" game, where only one region is placed on a blank screen, and the user must build the entire map around it. QUIZZES: Quizzes also vary in difficulty levels: Learn, Beginner, Novice, Master, Countdown, and Flip It, and add to the mutlidimensionality of the program.