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By WILLIAM LAMPKIN
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 12, 1999
Disney Interactive hasn't broken new ground with the trio of programs tied to its latest animated feature film, Tarzan. Nonetheless, the software has easily entertained my two kids, ages 3 and 6, for hours.
The Tarzan Action Game, for ages 8 and older, gives young ape-people a chance to battle baboons, surf jungle branches and swing through the trees in 13 levels and three degrees of difficulty. A player begins on level 1 as a young Tarzan and continues through adulthood at level 6. Players are Tarzan for the most part, but several levels offer the opportunity to be Jane or Tarzan's ape pal, Terk.
With a difficulty setting of "easy," my 6-year-old daughter had her hands full with the first three levels. To tell the truth, that is about as far as I could get, too, after several hours of play. (Swinging on vines isn't as easy as it looks in the movies.) But avid gamers won't find this one much of a challenge.
The CD-ROM game seems pretty stable, but at least one feature, "Save the Game," was nowhere to be found, despite mention in the manual and an option to "Load a Game." This means a player who has plenty of lives left at bedtime has to quit the game without a chance to pick up next time where she left off.
Tarzan Activity Center, for ages 4 to 8, offered several entertaining diversions for the kids. Three of the seven activities proved to be favorites. Terk and Tantor's Power Lunch, a Breakout-like game, was a hit even with my 3-year-old. Tarzan's Sing and Swing offers players a choice of listening to three songs from the movie soundtrack -- Son of Man, Strangers Like Me and Two Worlds sung by Phil Collins -- or singing along to an instrumental version of them. The words appear on-screen a la Mitch Miller. And Trash the Camp Music Maker lets you and a quartet of gorillas play and record music with a variety of instruments.
Tarzan Print Studio, for all ages, wasn't among the kids' top two favorites, but it didn't stop my 3-year-old from making and printing a "Gone Ape" doorknob hanger the first night the software was loaded. The software offers a nice collection of Tarzan clip art and options for printing cards, stickers (if you have the appropriate paper), invitations, coloring pages, photo frames, name tags and more. A chance to make your own calendar likely will become a favorite of my 6-year-old, who enjoys keeping up with birthdays, holidays and other events. Projects look colorful and quite good when printed out.
Platforms: Windows 95/98
Disney's Tarzan Action Game
Disney's Tarzan Activity Center
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