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AUGUST 25, 1997

Entertainment

Computer Game Review

  by Rick Brewster
   Putt Putt Travels Through Time
  
   Putt Putt, in case you don't know by now, Putt Putt is a young, purple sports car. He always gets to go on fun adventures, such as going to the zoo, the moon, and in this newest installment he gets to travel through time. In Putt Putt Travels Through Time, Putt Putt was just about to show Mr. Firebird his new school supplies when they all got sucked in by the time portal! Mr. Firebird tells Putt Putt he can't close the time portal until all his things are brought back: his history report, calculator, lunch box, and his dog Pep!
  
   This game is a blast. The acting is superb, the animation is awesome, and there's just so much to DO. On every screen you can click on just about anything to get an animation. You might be click on a branch to watch it dance, or a statue to change it's pose.
  
   Playing the game is simple enough ... just move the mouse around and click. If the arrow changes into a BIG arrow, it means you can move in that direction. If the hollow arrow becomes solid, that means you can click there to see something happen. If you click on an inventory item and the cursor changes into a minature version of it, you can use it on that scene.
  
   The acting is superb throughout the game. Everything sounds the way it should ... the Tyrannosaurus Rex sounds dumb, Putt Putt is always full of optimism, and even Mr. Firebird sounds like a wreckless scientist.
  
   Scattered throughout the game are several mini-games. These range from repeating a sequence of bellowing volcanoes to a 3D-version of Pong. These games help exercise math, memory, and eye-hand coordination.
  
   The only negative side to this game that I could come up with is that Putt Putt's acting occasionally goes monotone, which is hardly even worth mentioning.
  
   As you travel through the four time periods looking for your belongings, you'll run into a variety of things to do. You'll help the princess carriage fix the wheel on her friend, scratch an itch on an Apotasaurus' back, and even get a paint job.
  
   Through it all, kids will learn that politeness and optimism will win the day. He always remembers to say "Please" and "Thank you," and always has extra time to help a stranger. I highly reccomend this.
  
   Publisher: Humongous Entertainment (www.humongous.com)
   Category: Education, ages 3 to 8
   Price: $40
   Requires: PC 486-33 with SVGA (640x480, 256 colors) and soundcard or Mac 68040-25, both need 8MB RAM and 2X CD-ROM
   Highs: high replay value; a LOT of things to do; really good art, animations, and acting; fun mini-games
   Lows: Putt Putt's acting occasionally goes monotone
   Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
   Next week's review: POD