Click on a thumbnail to enlarge it. Use your browser's "BACK" button to return to this review when done.
Putt-Putt Travels Through Time is the fourth in the Putt-Putt series. These games are part of Humongous Entertainment's Junior Adventure games. They are both fun and educational, and they challenge and inspire kids to think for themselves in creative and flexible ways. Children can play with lovable friends as they discover captivating worlds where they direct the journey at their own pace. The first Putt-Putt game was created by Humongous Entertainment President, Shelley Day, seven years ago as a bedtime story for her son. Now there are numerous Putt-Putt games and they have gone on to win many parent and teacher awards. The plot around Putt-Putt Travels Through Time is set around Putt-Putt, a purple convertible, and his school supplies, which are accidentally pulled into Mr. Firebird's Time Machine. On his way to school he makes a quick visit to Dr. Firebird's Lab. He has his calculator, his lunch box, his prized history report, and Pep, his faithful dog. The good doctor's time machine is out of whack, and it scatters all of Putt-Putt's school supplies throughout the centuries. And Pep valiantly jumps into the time machine to save the history report, and he is also lost in time. The aim is to help Putt-Putt travel through the eons to find Pep and his gear and return them to the present so that Mr. Firebird can close the Time machine. The product is available on a CD-ROM that can be used with a PC with Windows or a Macintosh. Price $29.99. The Humongous Entertainment Web site is a great place for both parents and kids to visit. There is all sorts of information, games and such.
Junior Adventures help children, ages 3 to 8. Games and activities test memory, challenge math skills and encourage creativity. Easy-to-maneuver controls make this game easy even for the younger players.

Storyline--After Putt-Putt's school supplies and pup Pep are sucked into Dr. Firebird's time machine, Putt-Putt goes on an adventure through time to retrieve these missing items and restore order to the universe. Once Putt-Putt enters the Time Machine he can choose between four different periods in time to enter into to look for his missing items. His choices include:

  1. The Age of the Dinosaurs--In this land of volcanoes and tar pits you find many large and interesting friends. Ms. Brachiosaurus holds the key to accessing the secrets of the other dinosaurs. A flying Pterodactyl and an itchy Apatosaurus will interact with Putt-Putt and by listening to what they say clues will be given to help Putt-Putt locate some of the missing items. There are many puzzle challenges like the game of Jumble Rocks with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, who moves rocks with pictures on them to help you unscramble an image. There is a memory game where you try to repeat a sequence of eruptions in the Follow the Volcano.

  2. Medieval Times--Merlin work his magic in this period. While visiting Sir Poundalot the blacksmith, kids meet Blaze the Dragon who protects an item they might need. Kids need to travel through all four time worlds to find the right clues necessary to get back to reality. Players can test their aim in a game of Shoo Crow Shoo and listen to King Chariot's jokes. Children will find Princess Chassis adorable and Putt-Putt must help her in order to gain access to the castle. She bestows her appreciation upon Putt-Putt when she allows him to come to the castle with her.

  3. The Old West--When visiting the Tire Flats train station, children will need to gather valuable clues. In order to become a Junior Conductor, kids will have to assist Toby the Train. They do this by locating certain items and also using them in some of the other worlds. When kids enter the stable they will be treated to tunes from the singing horse Virgil Clyde. Ride Toby the Train to Gold River and see what pans out when you visit prospector Silverado Sam, or stop at Hubcap Hill to explore an old ghost town. In the desert, your child will find animal tracks that teach pattern recognition skills. By following these tracks your child will come to some surprising discoveries.

  4. The Future--Floating cars, teleporters and robots are some of the strange encounters come upon when wandering through the world of the future. Art T, Fact can show you useful items from the past in the museum. Children can visit Miss Electra's Battery Maker and repaint Putt-Putt with their favorite color using the Paint-O-Rama machine. Check with Darian the Librarian to see if he has any book you need. While at the library, use the Silly Story maker to create, read, listen to and print many different stories with pictures that change every time you create a new story.

Installation. One excellent feature of Humongous products for users who have limited disk space is that you don't install anything or just minimal files. The program runs off the CD.

Interface. The interface is well-done and is entirely cursor driven. Throughout the game, there are hundreds of hidden click points. Children can click on almost anything on the screen and make it come alive, such as a rock, a flower, or a tree. Most click points will continue to respond with each successive click, and produce a different reaction each time, so children need to click on an item more than once. Some click points even act as mini-games--a combination of click points that work together for even more fun.

Random Game Paths. As with most of Humongous Entertainment Junior Adventures there is a random element to Putt-Putt Travels Through Time. This means children can play the game once through to the end and the next time they visit they will have a different puzzle to solve.

Putt-Putt Travels Through Time is a great kids game. But the outstanding graphics and storyline will even keep adults interested enough to play along with the children. There are many interactive challenges that develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills for kids. Each time era is subtly passing on a lesson in history, and Putt-Putt meanders through a cavalcade of task building skills and a virtual kaleidoscope of color. You can't go wrong with Humongous Entertainment games.
Processor: 33 MHz 486 or higher
Operating System: Windows 3.1 or higher
Memory: 8 MB RAM
Double-speed CD-ROM drive
SVGA (640x480, 256 color) graphics
Putt-Putt Travels Through Time has a great readme file with all sorts of clues and useful information for parents to read if they want to help their children with the game. There is also a coloring book and a sheet of character stickons for various Humongous Entertainment characters from other games.

Graphics: Adobe ImageStyler
Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series