Overall Rating: B

Source: The Learning Company

Playing Time: Finishing one round of clues takes about 40 minutes.

Date: 3/24/99

Cost: $29.95 http://www.learningco.com/

Number of Players: 1 (students could work together on the problems if bigger groups were necessary)

Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Either Windows 95/98, Windows 3.1, or a Macintosh, and voice compatibility.

Subject Area: Math

Objectives: Solid foundation of upper elementary mathematics skills (i.e. whole number computation, fractions and decimals, geometry and measurement, and charts, graphs, and tables.

Brief Description: The students must figure out who stole what article and from where. In order to get the clues to eliminate the suspects, possible locations, and artifacts, they have to correctly solve different problems.

Entry Capabilities Required: Small foundation of basic skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), concepts of graphing (line graphs and bar graphs), basic notions of geometric shapes, and concepts of measurement.

**Rating: (1-5)**

- Relevance to objectives: 5-
Each problem was directly related to the objectives.

Provides practice of relevant skills: 2- The students only had to solve one problem in order to get the clue and if you made a mistake, it will not tell you, it will just not let you go forward in the program.

Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4- Once the students understand the game, it seems to be very fun and amusing.

Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3- It will take the students a while to understand the point of the game and exactly how it works.

Technical quality (durable, attractive): 5- Excellent graphics and sound effects.

Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than chance): Winning depended on players actions, but you can't loose, it will not let you go any farther, so kids may quit it very easily.

Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate depiction): 3- The students are on a huge hunt for missing things and they play mathematical games (like tetra) that they would never do in real life.

Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results): The Learning Company itself seems to be quite successful. They have numerous games and programs for computers out there and they span all ages and disciplines.

Clear directions for play: 0- Not at all. It gets you right into the game, but it doesn't tell you how to check your answer when your done, or how to get out of certain locations.

Effectiveness of debriefing: 3- It rewards you at the end by replacing the stolen item that you found for them.

Weak Points: Very weak directions.

Reviewer: Nellie

Position: Grad. Student

Date: 3/24/99

Computer System Reviewed on: Power Macintosh G3, 233 megahertz, 64 mb ram.