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Does Darkness live in your closet?

A Review of Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside

Tina Velgos

He's every kid's best friend. He's also just a little scared of the dark! Meet Pajama Sam in Humongous Entertainment's best CD-ROM adventure yet!

You'll fall in love with this little superhero who wears blue flannel pajamas and confronts his fear with his trusty mask, red cape, flashlight and authentic Pajama Man lunchbox. Kids will soon learn the true meaning of Pajama Sam's motto, "There's no need to hide when it's dark outside!".

Don't let the beginning of this CD-ROM (for kids ages 3 through 8 years) mislead you. Listen to the opening line, "Deep in the bowels of an old power plant, a sinister plot is hatching..." Hmmm, not exactly stuff you'd like to read to your 3-year-old, right? Fortunately, the story quickly transitions to the bedroom of one Pajama Sam. Sam promises his mother that he will collect his "orphan" socks and sleep with the lights turned off.

Darkness! Join Pajama Sam and his mammoth imagination as he bravely conquers his fear of the dark by capturing Darkness! Where does Darkness lurk? In his closet, of course! Step into Pajama Sam's closet and you'll be transported to a magical Land of Darkness with clever animation that could easily compete with Disney. A sunken mine, trees which talk, the world's biggest tree-house with thousands of frames of hand-drawn animation create a spell-binding interactive world where imagination is king.

Similar to the Putt-Putt series, but far more challenging, kids explore the Land of Darkness and gasp as they watch the Customs Inspections Trees confiscate Sam's super-hero gear. If you have a young child who frightens easily, this would be a good time to put your child on your lap and explain that the trees won't hurt Pajama Sam. It's up to you and your kids to help find Pajama Sam's mask, cape, flashlight and lunchbox and collect handy tools to make the job easier.

There are colorful and friendly Putt-Putt-like transportation vehicles ranging from King, the mine car to Otto the boat who make friends with Pajama Sam and your kids in the Land of Darkness. Help Pajama Sam convince Otto the boat conquer his fears that he will not float and assist Sam oil the rusty wheels of King the mine car.

Don't forget to look for Pajama Sam's missing socks which are mysteriously scattered in Darkness! After collecting twenty socks and matching all 10 pairs in Sam's laundry basket, kids will be treated to an awesome animated surprise!

With ever-changing games and new features, kids will play Pajama Sam in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside until the wee hours of the morning, if you'd let them. Hundreds of clickable "hot spots" together with puzzles and games make this software a steal for under $40 (Win/Mac).

Meet the Doors of Knowledge, two animated trees who are "wannabe" talk show hosts. Kids play The Brain Tickler game as they help Sam answer four wacky trivia questions. Since there are over 60 questions and 10 categories, this game is a great memory building activity for kids.

Kids love operating a mine cart that picks up gold nuggets which are hidden in over 100 caverns. Look out for danger and hot, molten lava while you rack up points in this challenging activity.

There's even an interactive Tic-Tac-Toe game where kids help Pajama Sam play Cheese and Crackers as he duels a with a toaster.

From the mines to Darkness' house, kids will never be bored with this CD-ROM. One of almost 5-year-old Timmy's favorite places to explore was the Secret Mad Scientist's Lab where kids can explore beakers of colorful liquids and dabble in concoctions to make marshmallows, invisibility and "the voice of power" (the world's largest burp!). Skip the burp experiment, if you can!

The music room is a room full of instruments where kids can select different songs which are eerily played by a player piano, as a bust belts out "I ain't got no body!". Timmy had a good laugh with that one!

If your child has any lingering fear of the dark, this is software is a must! Since most of this game is situated in the dark, it provides a safe place for kids to explore the magical world of darkness which turns into a creative fantasy land full of adventures and surprises.

A nice feature for kids playing this software is the Save and Load games option which lets them continue the adventure where they left off! No more excuses to miss dinner, simply use the "S" and "L" keys.

Pajama Sam in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside (Win/Mac CD-ROM) retails for approximately $39.95 and comes with a very cool Junior Adventure activity book filled with games and coloring pages. For more information, please call Humongous at (800) 499-8386 or visit the Humongous web site.

School House Scorecard

Product:

Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside

Company:

Humongous Entertainment
Phone: 1-800-499-8386
Internet: www.humongous.com

Cost:

$39.95

System Requirements:

Available for Macintosh and PC

Breakdown:


Ease of Use 5
Learning Value 5
Entertainment Value 5
Graphics 5
Sound 5

Overall Score:

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