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Ages: 8 and above
The Mad Scientist's Laboratory
Don't get bored with science. Get MAD!! Not angry mad - mad scientist mad! Widget Workshop is a mad scientist's laboratory, a garage workshop, and an attic full of neat stuff to play with - all in one and on your computer screen. With dozens of parts and pieces that can be connected together in unlimited ways, you can build and solve experiments and puzzles - or just invent weird and wondrous widgets that do almost anything.
Widget Workshop is designed to teach kids the principles of science (touching on physics, math, logic, and sound, among others) in a unique, open-ended setting.
Play with logic gates and learn about the stuff computers are made of.
Doc - the Mad Scientist in Residence - will be there to help you with hints and advice.
You can experiment with light, color, sound, time, gravity, random numbers, logic, mathematics, switches, planets, pendulums, cannons - even human and animal hearts.
You can share your inventions (and puzzles like this one) with your friends - even if they don't have Widget Workshop on their computer.
All these exploration tools and toys are included for off-computer experiments. And the free Widget Experiment Book (Retail packaging only) will give you lots of things to build, experiments to carry out and problems to solve.
Windows 95 and Windows 3.1: IBM or 100% compatible 386DX or above (486 recommended), 8 MB ROM, CD-ROM drive, Microsoft compatible mouse, SVGA 256 colors. Supports MPC compatible sound card
Macintosh: 68030 or higher (25 MHz or faster), System 6.07 or above, 4 MB RAM, CD-ROM Drive, color monitor with 8-bit (256 color) graphics. Printer optional.
Computer Shopper, January 1996
"...This interesting CD-ROM makes a game of science by asking kids to assemble 'widgets' - puzzles, experiments, machines, strange inventions, or anything else they can dream up. As they create and explore, youngsters will learn the principles of science and improve their logical thinking skills."
PC Gamer, December 1996
"Without a construction program, a child's software library is poverty-stricken. Programs like Sierra's The Incredible Machine and Maxis' Widget Workshop allow children to tinker with materials they wouldn't be able to manipulate offline - like heavy equipment, explosives, stand-alone digital equipment, and hungry animals.
"These programs teach children how to solve problems with logic and creativity, the best lesson kids can learn. They use wonderful humor and excellent online guidance to help kids learn the ropes; then, they set the kids loose with the tools for building their own inventions, twisted enough to impress Rube Goldberg.
"The Incredible Machine may appeal to children earlier than Widget Workshop because it focuses on the mechanics of the solution, the if-then relationship. Widget Workshop adds the dimension of value with counters and Boolean operators, the if-x-times-then and if-then-how-do-I-stop-it relationships.
"Either program is a good choice, and both will be as open-ended and durable as a box of blocks. One of these construction programs should be among the first packages you buy. If your child is a big fan of Legos, however, Davidson's Kid Cad offers similar educational value with a building block metaphor. Not as much if-then, but a lot of spatial reasoning."
©1998/9 CD-ROM Access.
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