Sydney Morning Herald Cover-Up At Roswell Review

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The following appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on February 25, 1997. The citation is Glover, Anne (1997-02-25). Cyberchild. The Sydney Morning Herald. Computers, pg. 6.


Ages: Eight to adult

Windows/Macintosh CD-ROM

Distributor: Roadshow Interactive

RRP: $49

WHAT a time for the kids to wreck the computer! An urgent e-mail was coming in, but now everything is malfunctioning. We need to rebuild the computer network before dad gets really mad. So we unscramble codes, chase data bugs up data lines and eventually restore the system.

Now for that urgent e-mail. Was it really so urgent? Or was dad just being a bit of a pain? Well, an alien spacecraft has apparently crash- landed in the desert, jettisoning some objects on the way. OK, OK we agree that is urgent.

We become Jonny Quest - he and his dad and a few friends are the good guys in this story. We need to collect alien objects before the baddies grab them and change the world. The official line is that a Russian satellite crash-landed, but we know better. It's a cover-up! We use all sorts of neat equipment such as a scanner and video enhancer to see the evidence more clearly. But unfortunately, the "Men in Black" hack our file and are now after the loot too. The world is starting to panic, the news service is talking of an alien takeover and a $1 million reward is posted for the finder of the alien equipment.

A Global Positioning Device lets us lock on to the location of the missing objects. One is in the dark tunnels under New York City, amongst the rats and other rodents. Another is on Devil's Island and one in the jungles of Tanzania, in what looks like an elephants' grave yard.

To find them, we need to manoeuvre vehicles such as a helicopter, raft and sea slug. Stephen reckons I'm the worst driver in the world, (on the computer) and he's right. We crash heaps of times but finally make it in one piece off the raft. Which way now? Are we any closer? We use the tracking device. It shows our latitude and longitude and that of the missing object.

"Oh no, there are angry guards approaching. What are they saying?" worries Stephen.

"They reckon they are going to fix those punk kids. Is that us? We aren't punk," says Greg.

"Try this way. No that way! Now we are going around in circles," says Carolynn.

This is definitely a game, but the kids do need to think and plan to succeed. There are lots of problem-solving exercises all the way through, from using a map, to working out how all the gear works and interpreting the clues. One minute they need to position statues correctly as they build logic skills.

"What do we do with these fat guys?" asks Greg.

"Put the one with the weird hair next to the one with his teeth snarling, or all the fat stomach guys together," yells Stephen.

Later, it's a maths puzzle or a game of Mancala. A different activity appears at every turn, making more than 30 puzzles in all.

This is an interactive cartoon adventure based on the Jonny Quest series. The new series is just out on TV and video too. This CD-ROM version is a useful program for a few kids to puzzle over together, even if they are different ages; eight-year-olds on their own will find it a bit tough though.

Children who are scared easily by baddies won't like the program, but kids who enjoy a challenging game that stretches the mind, will love this adventure with Jonny Quest.


  • The Real Adventure of Jonny Quest: Cover-Up at Roswell. (reviewed)
  • Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland. Distributor: Microsoft Suppliers, tel (02) 9870 2110 RRP: $59
  • Iz and Auggie's Escape from Dimension Q. Distributor: Dataflow, tel (02) 9417 9700 RRP: $59.95
  • Torin's Passage. Distributor: Playcorp, tel (03) 9329 2999 RRP: $49.95
  • Operation Weather Disaster. Distributor: Dataflow, tel (02) 9417 9700 RRP: $59.95

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