This adventure finds the Cluefinders (the preteen foursome of Santiago, Joni, Owen, and Leslie) in San Francisco outside a famous toy store when Joni and Owen are mysteriously shrunken to the size of hand-held toy figurines. Leslie and Santiago scramble to reach their friends who have been deposited on the 6th floor of the now-closed store
Given the small stature of two of the Cluefinders, this adventure is about finding items to build an “Unshrinker” and solving the mystery of the shrinking phenomenon. To find the “Unshrinker” parts, the miniature Joni and Owen explore their surroundings on the 6th floor and discover a magical world of animated toys and talking animals. Meanwhile, Leslie and Santiago search the rest of the floors and deal with an “elevator with an attitude”.
To obtain the necessary pieces for the “Unshrinker”, players help the Cluefinders play eight different games that practice math, language arts, social studies, and science.
All of the games can be played on four levels of difficulty and will automatically adjust the difficulty to meet the player’s needs. The games are novel and innovative. In one, a rat chases the shrunken Cluefinders inside pneumatic tubes. Players help navigate the Cluefinders’ course through the tubes by selecting those tubes that complete a pattern or sequence. In another game, the tiny Cluefinders secure a ride across a toy boat pond on Taxini, an opera-singing water bug. Taxini lets the Cluefinders earn their fare by helping him with his spelling.
As with previous Cluefinders, there is a lot to like about this title. The intriguing story line about why the Cluefinders were shrunk slowly unfolds as children explore the title. The software keeps excellent records of the player’s achievements; and navigation throughout is easy. The title even offers closed captioning.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.