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DREAM HOUSE by Joyce Hakansson

When you were a child did you ever crawl inside one of those great collapsible wooden playhouses with miniature tables, chairs, people and animals, and live out your fantasies of future adulthood?

Joyce Hakansson must have. She and her associates have once again trespassed in the secret world of childhood imaginations and created a program that reaches into the fine heart of learning software. DREAM HOUSE is non-violent, open-ended, easy-to-use and magical.

DREAM HOUSE gives children four wonderfully detailed imaginary houses to play with onscreen: Colonial Farmhouse, Manhattan Penthouse, San Francisco Victorian and the Hideaway Cottage. The child begins outside or inside the house, moving through simple pictorial menus with an easy flick of the joystick, to play landscape architect (creating different shapes of trees and plants and placing them around the house); master builder (remodeling with new shingles, windows, shutters, walls, etc.); or interior designer (painting trim, walls, floors, ceilings; rearranging furniture, clocks, lamps, tables, and pets). Pets?

Yes, the child can play a little God, choosing a Mom, a Pop and siblings, placing them in various rooms and even animating them. Masterpieces can be saved to disk and later loaded back in for more work. And, if our dreamer wants to, he or she can invite a friend over to play "hide and seek," painting over objects and people and then challenging the other child to find them.

DREAM HOUSE encourages creativity and problem-solving through a very rich simulation of "real life." Its strong, clear graphics, simple but detailed images, depth, and complexity challenge children for hours with the act (and art) of "dreaming up" their own fantasy.