Learning Ladder is a cute series of entertainment and educational software that teaches math, language and social studies. The cartoon style two dimensional animation presented in the series can hardly compete with today’s light-sourced, texture-mapped, guaraud-shaded, high-definition, three-dimension rendered graphics seen in most games. The audience of the 3 to 12 year old age group will gravitate to the simple attractive drawings and likeable characters, probably more than to the average high definition game, but then with the introduction of the Super Mario Nintendo 64 three dimensional version perhaps young children’s preferences will change.
The most notable title in the seven titles which are now availabe is the award winning Theo the Dinosaur. Theo is a little red-range dinosaur who spends most of his time reading. It was through reading that Theo and his three pals, Dallas, Dinah and Dewey avoided extinction, and now they feel compelled to help the children of the world avoid extinction too.
It seems that the dinosaurs learned to recycle, play in a rainforest, and avoid T-Rex, surprisingly similar lessons when compared to the ones we are learning to survive in today’s world. In true adventure game tradition, a small animated object, named Pie’rre Les Roach is hiding on every page with important messages about today’s world. Pie’rre tells us about Greece, the solar systemmedicine, world geography, and herbs. These short lessons are related to humanities quest to avoid distinction, making further connections to the real world.
Another interesting exercize is learning to count to ten in English, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and German with an interactive matching game. Like all good dinosaurs, Theo and his three friends have a band and they play music for you along your journey. Soundeffects accompany tasks that are performed on comic book-like screens. Theo 32 pages for children ages 3-6 to explore and interact with while learning.
Other learning games in the series include Dinosaurs Across America Teach Patrick Rabbit for ages 7-9, Alphabet Adventure with Digby & Lydia for ages 4-6, Phonics Adventure With Sing-Along Sam for ages 4-6, Radio Addition With Spike and Mike for ages 5-7, Multiplication Tour With Spike & Mike for ages 7-9, and Reading Adventure With Kenny Kite. Each of the games has cute little characters.