Rapunzel/Barbie needs your help to rescue her handsome prince (played by Ken) and save the magical kingdom from the wicked witch's evil spells. Use your reading and decision-making skills in activities and puzzles as you help Barbie and her adorable animal friends on their journey.
This is a 90s version of the classic tale of Rapunzel, and this time around, it's the girl who rescues the guy. In an interactive storybook format with "read to me" and "play" modes, children help Barbie/Rapunzel free the prince and the kingdom from the wickedness of an evil witch. On the positive side, the graphics and music are appealing, kids can easily print out story pages to color, and games can be saved. Text is highlighted, there is an assortment of clickables on every page, and the program is easy to use.
Testers enjoyed the program initially, but didn't ask to play it again. "There should be more games, and harder ones," said one six-year-old. Although the software does contain six embedded activities, and you must play some of them in order to advance the story, the games are very standard and offer only one difficulty level. There's a 16-card matching game, a sorting activity and a set of very easy mazes. The activities that our testers liked best were cake decorating at the bakery and the dress up area where kids can change Barbie's outfits. The children were disappointed, however, in the fact that they could not print out their creations.
The software has many nice features. For instance, there are helpful audio prompts, and all the animations are interruptible with one mouse click. The kids just wanted more games and things to do, though. With more printing options and multilevel games, we'd have a stronger program.
Teaches: early reading, problem solving
Age Range: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Copyright © 2000 Children's Software Revue -- From Children's Software Revue®