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Matchbox Construction Zone

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Mattel Interactive
Developer: Mattel Interactive
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Matchbox Construction Zone 2 are pretty smooth with a 3D accelerator video card, but noticeably worse in Software Rendering Mode (not using 3D card). In either case, the environment is very interactive, but really rather sparse. With today's standards, the game's graphics could have been better.

The sound is quite well done. From mining explosions to truck engines, Construction Zone 2 sounds great. There is even an onsite foreman that gives instructions to you so that you know what to do next.


Remembering that Construction Zone 2 is for ages 5 and Up, the gameplay will be entertaining for some, yet boring for others. Typically, the game may hold the attention of the younger crowd, and the controlling of vehicles seems to be geared more this way. Older children may think it's cool for a while, but I have a feeling that the overall basic gameplay will not hold older children for very long.

The structure of the game is such that you take control of seven different Caterpillar machines and use them to mine copper, silver, and gold found within the hills. Moving from area to area, you perform different tasks from crushing rocks and hauling materials to loading and hauling explosives. The object of the game is to use all of the vehicles to help production speed up.

One nice feature is that all of the vehicles will operate themselves under computer control and keep production going even while you're not controlling them. This will help younger kids out so that they don't become overwhelmed. After all is said and done, you have the option of printing out a certificate showing how well you did. High scores are also saved within the game, but the option to save and continue is not present, so all has to be accomplished in one sitting.


Matchbox Construction Zone 2 is geared toward kids 5 and Up, so as you can expect, difficulty depends on age. All of the controls are very basic, so most children should be able to handle that aspect. Younger children may have difficulties with maneuvering the vehicles though. But because the computer controls vehicles not in use, production will continue nonetheless.

Game Mechanics:

Game controls are very basic, therefore it should be pretty easy for most kids to jump into the driver's seat of their favorite machine. The game is repetitive and there is really only one area, with 10 sub-areas. If you bought the first Construction Zone game, then you'll be happy to know that the Cat Controller that came with it is usable in this game. Other input devices that can be used are the keyboard, mouse, or joystick. Matchbox Construction Zone 2 has a definite target audience (the younger children), so be aware of this when buying the game, but it is a worthy game and would make a decent gift. It also includes a Matchbox toy as well, so that's an added bonus.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium 166 MHz running Windows 95/98 (Pent 233 MHz w/ Win98), 32MB (64MB) RAM, 50MB (200MB) Hard Drive Space, 4x (8x) CD-ROM, 16-bit sound card, 16-bit video card (direct 3D compatible 3D accelerator card recommended), Mouse and Keyboard, Inkjet or Laser Printer optional for printing certificates

Test System:

Pentium II 400MHz CPU; Windows 98 (upgrade version); 256MB 100MHz SDRAM; Creative's 32MB 3D Blaster Anihilator 2 3D-Accellerator AGP Video Card; Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card; DirectX 7.0a; using Hewlett Packard CD-Writer Plus 9100 (reads 32x, writes 8x, rewrites 4x) as main CD-ROM; 1 gameport; 2 USB ports; Saitek's P2000 Tilt Pad (*USB*/gameport connection); 56K Modem

Windows Microsoft Links 2001 Windows Microsoft Golf 2001

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated