Once upon a time there were two little Bears, Ted and Floppy, and they lived in a colourful house along with a whole collection of bear friends and with lots of things to do and play. With a very simple point and click interface this title invites young players to join in and explore and experiment; and be thoroughly entertained at the same time.
Including the front garden there are six colourful and busy locations to discover. The garden itself is magical, as it will change with the seasons when the child learns the secret to make this happen. Every location has a myriad of hot spots to click on to initiate funny animations: the frogs in the pond will sing, the band will strike up, or the juggler will perform her tricks. Even the interactive storybook that opens from one such hot spot opens again into a whole world with more places to discover and more animations to set in motion. Thus the story of Alison's Birthday comes alive with bears to spare as they plan for a birthday surprise.
This title sure is a sweetie, there's a simple maze to negotiate, a word and picture matching game and an activity where musical notes can be sounded by six different instruments and kids can play their own tunes. Indeed, the game has a distinct musical flavour as it also introduces the young player to a wide sampling of different types of music including classical, blues and jazz.
The sound track is excellent, and the graphics are clear and colourful. Floppy appears in every screen and is a great help if you are wondering what to do. Ted is around as well to offer some suggestions although he likes playing hide and seek and is only too happy to find something to slip behind and wait to be found out.
Bears was set free in the world in 1997 for kids between the ages of 3 and 8. Its simplicity and charm makes it a little gem that pre-schoolers particularly will fall in love with. It also has a particular attraction for some parents I know who have bequeathed the older 486 computer to the kids and have been looking around for something entertaining and educational to go with it. Bears will suit just fine and it's still available for purchase online at the Bears website. Although I should point out here that I sampled it on a PIII 500 and it performed to perfection.
Produced in New Zealand this award winning children's package is released on a hybrid disk for both Mac and Windows.
Copyright © Rosemary Young 2000.
All rights reserved.
486-DX2/66, 8 MB RAM, Win 3.1, 95, 98 or Macintosh 68040 or faster processor with system 7.1 or later. 10 MB free disk space, 2x CD-ROM drive. 640x480, 256 colour display. Mouse.