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Jump Start and Math Blaster Review by Christine Hindle

Britany Winkle
Knowledge Adventure
http://www.jumpstart.com

&

http://www.mathblaster.com

Over the years, we have bought various Jump Start programs for our preschool and elementary aged children, with which we had a ton of fun! So, of course, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review the online Jump Start and Math Blaster games.

My excitement was dimmed when I got into the games and tried to play them. I could not make head or tail of how to get around, and I couldn't even find anything remotely educational in the Jump Start game. I knew that our 6-year-old would be just as lost as I was, so I called in the big guns. First, I asked my 13-year-old granddaughter to play. She plays computer role-playing games all the time, but she was just as stumped as I was, trying to find anything educational or even remotely amusing to do. It was difficult to navigate. So I asked my son-in-law to check it out.   He is a major gamer and even beta tests new games that come out.   He was of much the same opinion I was. He said it was too difficult to navigate, and while there were parts that his daughter would enjoy, she would never be able to get to them. He and I both felt that there was too much magic involved in the entire game, and that there was too much interaction with other people.   I am not too keen on the idea of social interaction for a young child on a game - what better place for a pedophile to make contact that in a forum like this?

To me, this is a childlike version of an adult video game, and more oriented to older people even though it has cutesy, childlike graphics. I would like a much simpler, easier-to-navigate format, with much less "fluff" and easier access to the learning games, if they are actually in there somewhere.

Math Blaster had my hopes up too, but again I could not navigate through all the "fluff" to get to the actual math. Since I am pretty computer literate and not a complete dolt, the only conclusion I can come to is that most children will not be able to get to the math either.

I was prepared to love these two online forums, and wanted my granddaughter to enjoy them also, but I really cannot. I am very disappointed that all the good learning opportunities I had expected seem to be lost in the quagmire of the gaming, which is much too sophisticated for young children anyway.

Product Review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2012

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