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Clue Finders 4th Grade Adventure: Puzzle of the Pyramid

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Riverdeep/The Learning Company
Developer: Riverdeep/The Learning Company
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Edutainment

Graphics & Sound:

The Clue Finders gang returns for another adventure, and this one takes place in and around Cairo, Egypt. Clue Finders 4th Grade Adventure: Puzzle of the Pyramid is a typical edutainment game that teaches your child the ins and outs of what he or she needs to know to make it through the fourth grade.

As far as the graphics are concerned, the game follows the cartoon drawn style of the other Clue Finders games, that is, static backgrounds with semi-static characters that move rarely and stiffly. Yet, because the main focus of the game is to hold the child's attention and get them to learn, and the less-than-system-breaking graphics seem to do that anyway, it is hard to completely dis a game for its lack of graphic prowess.

Clue Finders has decent sound. The music stays rather low-key and while you are in puzzles, it seems to resemble Middle Eastern style music with the use of a lot of flutes. And when the Clue Finders run into the bad guys, the standard flair of trumpets heard in many classic movies kicks up. The sound effects are pretty standard, while the voice-overs seem to have a large enough pool to use so that you won't necessarily hear the same words over and over again, which is always a plus for the adults in the room.


Clue Finders 4th Grade Adventure: Puzzle of the Pyramid puts your child in control of Joni Savage, Santiago Rivera, Leslie Clark, Owen Lam, Socrates (an extremely smart dog who can't talk, which typically wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that he is from an island of talking dogs), and Laptrap (the yellow 'Turbo T.U.R.T.L.E.'). Your job is to save the Clue Finders' absent-minded professor from the evil Sir Alistair Loveless (who, by the way, is bent on taking the power of Set and controlling the world).

Your first task is to have a scroll deciphered, and to do this you must run around Cairo collecting 'Cairoglyphs'. To earn a glyph, you must help the local shop owners in their various tasks. The jobs range from finding locations on a map to sending packages, to cutting off specific fractions of fabric, to answering questions about a paragraph and more.

After all parts of the scroll have been translated, the next goal is to collect jewels from desert mice to gain entrance into a secret tomb and save the professor. Every time you collect 12 jewels, you must place them in one of five doors in the correct order to complete the pattern. To get the jewels, your child will have to add decimal numbers, arrange words to form sentences and much more.

And just when you think the game is about to be over, you find there is yet another set of tasks to be completed. These include spelling words and using masses, forces and angles to build a bridge.


The difficulty of Clue Finders 4th Grade Adventure: Puzzle of the Pyramid is hard to judge. Like most edutainment games, it depends on the skill and knowledge of your child. The material presented seems to be on par with current fourth grade standards, and as your child progresses through the game, the tasks that he or she must complete become more complicated. Also if your child is excelling in one area while needing work in another, you can easily change the settings through the floating yellow contraption called Laptrap. This device has a simple to use system that allows you to raise and lower the difficulty in specific areas of the game.

Game Mechanics:

Clue Finders 4th Grade Adventure: Puzzle of the Pyramid uses a point-and-click system to navigate through the world and to move the answers to their correct locations. The graphics are simple sprite based systems, while the images for the sprites seem to have been made in the most basic of paint programs.

If your child is having problems understanding the concepts behind the fourth grade curriculum, or if you have a younger child that you are hoping to give a head start to, then this game is a good buy (especially with its easy to manipulate difficulty settings). Though you should be warned, this game is designed as a supplement to the material your child would get in class, it does not teach any new material, it just allows your child to practice the material more.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98, Me/2000/XP; Pentium 166 MHz or faster; 100MB HD Space; 32 MB RAM; 8X CD-ROM; Windows compatible sound card

Test System:

Windows XP Professional Ed., AMD Athlon 600 MHz, 384 MB RAM, 24X CD-ROM, Geforce3 Ti200, DirectX 9.0.

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