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Humongous Entertainment Delivers the First Educational Series With Personality; Ben and Becky Brightly Star in the New Big Thinkers! Series.

WOODINVILLE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 1997--

Big Thinkers Kindergarten(tm), Big Thinkers 1st Grade(tm) and

Big Thinkers 2nd Grade(tm) Demonstrate That Kids Can

Do Amazing Things When They Think Big

Ben and Becky Brightly(tm), superstar twins of learning and laughter, give kids a highly engaging way to reinforce their learning skills in Humongous Entertainment's new Big Thinkers!(tm) CD-ROMs, the first series of educational software with real personality.

Big Thinkers Kindergarten(tm) and Big Thinkers 1st Grade(tm) will debut in stores Oct. 17 for $29.95 each and be followed by Big Thinkers 2nd Grade(tm) in 1998.

Ben and Becky Brightly, two of the most interactive characters ever created, join Humongous Entertainment's family of characters including Putt-Putt(r), Freddi Fish(tm) and Pajama Sam(tm). Like their award-winning predecessors, this dynamic duo exhibit a contagious can-do attitude as they encourage kids to explore the Brightly house and expand their learning. The Brightlys flex and form to create fun activities for kids to discover everything from crane and train fractions to pantry word building, alphabet skywriting, garage-sale math and recycling.

"Our strength is the creation of fun characters like Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam. Now we have applied those talents to curriculum-based educational software and created Ben and Becky Brightly. For the first time, kids can learn using educational software with friendly characters that they truly care about," said Ralph Giuffre, executive vice president of marketing and licensing at Humongous Entertainment. "Continuity and progression between titles and a high level of personalization add an exciting new dimension to this educational series."

"Ben and Becky Brightly are like camp counselors whom kids look to for ideas and guidance in exploring Big Thinkers! activities. The twins relate to each child on a one-to-one basis, much like Mr. Rogers," said Jonathan Maier, producer of the Big Thinkers! Series. "The Brightly Twins talk with kids about the number of times they've played the game and about their birthdays -- and they even surprise them with a birthday cake."

Each Big Thinkers! title contains a variety of ever-changing click-points, highly personalized game play and activities that enhance skills in five subject areas: math, language arts, science/social science, creative arts and thinking skills. The activities, which include puzzle solving, exploration, problem solving, creativity and games are based on national curriculum standards for the specific grade levels. Given that each child is unique and may possess a different skill level in each subject area, many activities are equipped with three levels of difficulty that can be selected before play or changed during an activity.

"Big Thinkers! delivers an important natural and friendly progression between titles. As kids grow into the next Big Thinkers! title, the activities change to reflect the curriculum, but the characters, environment and feel of each CD-ROM stay familiar, so kids can build on their enthusiasm for their new friends and surroundings," said Maier. "The more familiar kids are with their environment, the more excited they are about going back for more."

SmartStars

Throughout game play, kids are frequently rewarded with SmartStars(tm), the motivational currency of the Big Thinkers! series, for completing or spending time participating in activities. SmartStars come in five colors -- red, blue, yellow, purple and green -- representing the five learning categories. Kids store their SmartStars in their BrainBank(tm), a repository for all the stars they've collected during play. Kids can easily check the number of stars they've earned at any time by clicking their BrainBank or checking their printable SmartChart(tm), which shows the all-time-high number of SmartStars earned in each category.

Collecting SmartStars moves each child closer to an exciting SuperStar of Smarts Challenge(tm), the ultimate activity that changes every time and uses SmartStars collected during play. Successful completion of the challenge rewards kids with a SuperStar of Smarts(tm) certificate signed by the Brightlys that can be printed and saved. Upon collecting their 10th SuperStar of Smarts certificate, kids receive a SuperHumongousStar of Smarts(tm) certificate, which they may redeem through Humongous Entertainment for their very own embroidered Big Thinkers! SuperStar of Smarts badge.

Big Thinkers Kindergarten

Kids set off with Ben and Becky Brightly to fill their brains with fun as they explore and discover learning skills specific to the kindergarten grade level. The comical hosts jump, skip and run from room to room, transforming their bodies into such items as a clock, a trash can and recycle bin, an airplane, a fish, and many more cool things as they introduce early math concepts, time telling, spelling, letter recognition, sorting, measurement, geography, animal science and more. Examples of the activities are:

-- Bubble Business. Ben becomes a bubble-blowing machine and blows bubbles of different shapes and colors from his mouth. Kids must figure out the pattern and complete it by blowing bubbles that fit into the correct space. Using Ben's hands, kids can change the shape and color of a bubble and pop it into place.

-- Pick of the Litter. Becky becomes a trash can, and Ben becomes a recycling bin. A number of objects are scattered on the ground, and kids must decide which receptacle to put them in. Ben and Becky explain why items are recyclable and give information on environmental science.

Big Thinkers 1st Grade

Big Thinkers 1st Grade allows kids to expand their knowledge of the first-grade curriculum by taking a fun and exciting romp through the Brightly House. Kids open doors, explore rooms, and watch the Brightlys perform amazing feats as they discover reading comprehension, word building, money identification and making change, addition and subtraction, fractions, measurement, music exploration, and much more. The Brightlys transform themselves into animals, a paintbrush, a game show and an electric current, to name a few, as they discover fun ways to explore first-grade curriculum. Activities include:

-- Postcards. Becky pulls postcards from the mailbox, and Ben pulls out his collection of photo albums. Kids help the twins sort the postcards into their correct scientific categories, including animal groups, food groups and transportation.

-- Ben's Bargains. Ben jumps into a box filled with items for a garage sale. When he pops out of the box, he is balancing the items all over his body. Kids are given some coins and must buy exactly three items without any money left over.

Big Thinkers 2nd Grade

Big Thinkers 2nd Grade takes kids on a tour through the Brightly house to explore and enhance their second-grade learning skills. Big Thinkers 2nd Grade will be available in 1998.

Platform, Availability and System Requirements

Big Thinkers Kindergarten and Big Thinkers 1st Grade are available separately on hybrid CD-ROM for Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Macintosh for $29.95 at retail stores everywhere, through secure online transactions at www.humongous.com, or by phone at 800/499-8386.

Windows system requirements: A 33MHz 486 (or faster) PC system with 8 MB of RAM, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, an SVGA card and display (640x480, 256-color video display), a sound card, and a double-speed (or faster) CD-ROM drive.

Macintosh system requirements: A 68040 (25MHz or faster) Macintosh, 8 MB of RAM, a double-speed (or faster) CD-ROM drive, and a 640x480, 256-color video display.

Humongous Entertainment

Established in 1992 by Shelley Day and Ron Gilbert, Humongous Entertainment is recognized for pushing the edge in interactive storytelling and delivering high-quality, hand-animated CD-ROMs starring endearing original characters including Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam, Fatty Bear(tm) and Buzzy the Knowledge Bug(tm). Humongous Entertainment creates interactive Junior Adventure(tm), Junior Field Trips(tm), Junior Arcade(tm), Big Thinkers and Junior Sports(tm) games that encourage kids to explore, discover and have fun. Humongous Entertainment, a subsidiary of GT Interactive Software Corp. (NASDAQ: GTIS), can be reached on the World Wide Web at www.humongous.com . -0-

EDITOR'S NOTE: Visit Humongous Entertainment's online press room at http://www/humongous.com/about/pr0.html for news releases, awards, articles, screen shots, product and company information plus more.

Humongous Entertainment, Big Thinkers, Big Thinkers Kindergarten, Big Thinkers 1st Grade, Big Thinkers 2nd Grade, Ben and Becky Brightly, SmartStars, BrainBank, SuperStar of Smarts, SuperStar of Smarts Challenge, SuperHumongousStar of Smarts, Junior Adventure, Junior Field Trips, Junior Arcade, Junior Sports, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam, Fatty Bear and Buzzy the Knowledge Bug are trademarks of Humongous Entertainment Inc. Other brand names and products may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. These products and Humongous Entertainment are not in any manner affiliated with Putt- Putt(r) Golf Courses of America Inc.

CONTACT: Humongous Entertainment

John Uppendahl, johnu@humongous.com

Mike Salvadore, mikes@humongous.com

425/951-2149
COPYRIGHT 1997 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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