Zaark and the Night Team: The Quest for Patterns uses a cartoon look and talking characters to help make learning fun. A lot of dialog is included which causes the game to move at a slow pace. Although the game moves slow, the dialog and colorful backgrounds should keep children's attention.
Controls are almost exclusively done with the mouse. Characters and some on screen instructions tell the player when to point and click on items. The keyboard is occasionally used to enter answers.
Children will be entertained by the different voices who talk to them. Characters are always speaking and keep the player involved in the storyline. They also provide instructions and encouragement. A child will also always have the ability to keep selecting answers until they enter the correct one.
Each game has its own storyline that progresses as puzzles are solved. A few different stories with varying difficulty are available for every game. This adds replay value and the ability to progress through different levels. Games are entertaining and teach a variety of thinking skills, though some minor math skills are needed for a few puzzles.
Graphically the games are very colorful. Characters have a goofy look to them that most children should enjoy. For some reason the complete monitor screen is not covered with about an inch on each side of the game screen not used. Sound effects match the backgrounds well. Voices are very clear and easy to understand.
Zaark and the Night Team: The Quest for Patterns is a good game that has an equal mix of learning and fun. A few problems do exist. The current game a child is playing must be completed before they can change to another one. Even turning off the game will save it in place. In order to switch games a new user name will have to be entered. One other problem is that children who have hearing disabilites will not be able to enjoy the game as much. Sometimes a few instructions are given in the corner but the complete story is told by the characters. Closed captions really should have been included.
Graphics: Bright and colorful.
Sound: Voices are very good.
Enjoyment: A good combination of learning and fun.
Replay Value: Only four games but each of them have a few different stories.
Zaark and the Night Team: The Quest for Patterns is filled with puzzles for kids to solve. Four games are included that use different types of patterns to solve puzzles. When a puzzle is solved during each game the story advances as the player continues on their way to completing a quest. "Save Melody Castle" is all about music. Using listening skills one must choose which notes are high and which are low. "Nab the Scrambler" educates children about art. While inside an art museum the player must look at paintings and remove items that do not belong. Through the use of a time machine the artist of the picture arrives to help the player. After a picture is fixed other paintings by that artist can be viewed. "Rescue on Hoolie-Goolie Island" teaches the concept of patterns with shapes and numbers. The player must look at a row of numbers or shapes and fill in the missing piece. "Aid to the aliens" matches words with pictures. For example, match the word valley with a picture of a valley.
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