Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Game Review: Explorapedia: World of Nature

One of the first games I played as a child was Explorapedia: World of Nature.  I was certainly a nature-oriented child, and loved to play dress-up, as different animals!  Explorapedia was a 1994 computer game with two functions: click and explore for older children, and click and explore for younger children.  The younger children function allows for endless clicking of the different animals, plants, and other things throughout the biomes (environments), which makes them do something.  In the older child function, you can click on the animals and plants, etc., you get the fun motions the same as the young child function, but with the bonus of an entire nature encyclopedia at your fingertips!

The game begins in Tad the frog’s spaceship.  The window in the spaceship views the entire Earth, with biomes striping the planet, instead of the continents.  This is for easy understanding of what the different environments are, so, for example, the desert biome will include plants and animals from more than one continent, such as Africa, Australia, and North America.  You can also click around in Tad’s spaceship for more fun games and songs.

The biomes include polar, desert, seashore, coral reefs, ocean, lake, river, wetland, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, mountains, rainforests, savanna, farm, and universe.

When an animal, plant, or something else (like river), is clicked on, in big kid mode, the Explorapedia opens.  There are a handful to a dozen pages to scroll through for everything, and each page is chock full of pictures, examples, songs, games, and stories.  Everything can be read out loud, if desired, and is read by a different child.  Each biome’s signpost can also be clicked on, to get information on things like mountains and savannas.  There is so much information, and even though some of it is dated, the game is still extremely helpful in helping kids remember things like what animals live where, and how to remember their planets!

I loved this game, and if updated to include present research and fix things that have changed in the past twenty years (sorry Pluto), it would be a fantastic game for kids 3 and up to play!  To be honest, my future kids will play this if I have anything to say about it!  If I can, I will try to get this game to work on my computer and do a play through for YouTube.  Fingers crossed!

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