Top critical review
Great potential, but I can't recommend anymore. Malware in updates.
on January 17, 2014
The idea here is to have software that protects your computer from random and chaotic keystrokes from your little ones, while at the same time engaging the child to promote computer usage and maybe some learning. To that end, the software does it's job. Sorta.
UPDATE: OUR OLD COMPUTER (WINDOWS XP) DIED AND WE UPDATED TO A NEW ONE WITH WINDOWS 7. THE ORIGINAL VERSIONS WILL INSTALL ON 7, BUT NOT RUN. THEIR WEBSITE HAS UPDATES, WHICH WE DOWNLOADED AND RAN, BUT OUR AVG SOFTWRE (WEBROOT) NOTIFIED US THAT THE UPDATES (ALL 3) HAD MALWARE IN THEM AND DELETED THE PROGRAMS. SO NOW WE HAVE NOTHING. Waiting on giggles.net to answer our support question.
UPDATE: THE GIGGLES.NET WEBSITE HAS A NON WORKING TELEPHONE NUMBER. (DISCO'D.)
Amazon will not let us review each version separately so this review is for the ABC/123, My Animal Friends, and the Shapes versions.
The ABC/123 is good, (4 stars) but there are only 10 'games' and 4 bonus activities, and they are all pretty basic. So for it's keeping his attention well but I'm sure he'll tire of it one day. [UPDATE: After 3 months, he's bored.] We bought this used for $15 (shipped) and it is very much worth it. But the "new" price is a bit high for me.
The Shapes version is just a waste of money except for the screen saver. Shapes are supposed to show your child 2 things: Learn to identify shapes and then show how they fit together to make bigger images. This product only does the first part and it does it poorly. Our child was bored with it after 3 days. The only thing he likes (and likes a lot) is the screen saver. It's really good but it's all he "uses." (He just waits for the SS to come on, runs over to the computer hit the keys, and then leaves it again.) So we set it to 3 minutes. All the other activities are just a waste of time. Most he was bored with on the first time. We also bought it used and even at that price I feel it's not worth it. One star for the Shapes software, 5 stars for the Shapes Screensaver.
My Animal Friends is pretty good, but the screen saver crashed the computer everytime it ran. We had to uninstall it. The softare for MAF is better than shapes, and is good. 4 stars for MAF, 0 stars for MAF screen saver.
Great idea, but not well executed. Far too few variety and too repetitive. There needs to be a lot more imagination used in the developement of this set of programs.