Microsoft And Humongous Entertainment Pair EasyBall And Freddi Fish To Deliver Unbeatable Value For Families In Time For The Holidays

“EasyBall Adventure Zone With Freddi Fish” Invites Parents And Kids For HandsOn Fun And Prizes In Computer City Stores Nationwide On, Oct. 26 —
REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 15, 1996 — Microsoft Corporation today announced that starting in October the award-winning Microsoft EasyBall(tm) pointing device will be packaged with Humongous Entertainment’s award-winning Freddi Fish(tm) and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds(tm) CD-ROM game, a $39.95 value alone, for an unbeatable $54.95 price for both – just in time for the holidays. Shaped like a big, bright yellow sun surrounded by a Saturn-like ring, the innovative EasyBall makes Windows(r)-based computing easier and more fun for young children ages 2-6, engaging them mentally and physically at their own skill level. Freddi Fish lets kids ages 3-8 dive right in to direct the action in her hand-drawn animated adventure, play with colorful characters, enjoy games and solve puzzles at their own pace.

“We’re committed to bringing the fun of learning to young children,” said Kerry McGowne, marketing manager, Microsoft. “Parents and children can get acquainted with the dynamic duo at our Computer City ‘EasyBall Adventure Zone with Freddi Fish’ events on October 26th and discover just how much fun exploring on the computer can be.”

Alex Brown, Humongous Entertainment vice president of sales, said, “Each EasyBall package with Freddi Fish also contains a special bonus for families – a $10 mail-in-rebate good towards the purchase of our hot new games including Pajama Sam(tm) in No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside(tm), Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse(tm) and Putt-Putt(r) Saves the Zoo(tm).”

The Easy Ball Adventure Zone With Freddi Fish At Computer City All 97 Computer City stores around the country will offer parents and children hands-on demonstrations in “The EasyBall Adventure Zone with Freddi Fish.” Selected Computer City stores in Boston, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Orlando, Fla. also will host special Adventure Zone events, featuring demonstrations, EasyBall and Freddi Fish prizes, Microsoft gift certificates, face painting and even music and give-aways from local Radio AAHS and Kidstar radio stations (see attached list for specific Adventure Zone stores). Kids and parents also should listen for fun “EasyBall Adventure Zone with Freddi Fish” contests on the Radio AAHS and Kidstar stations beginning mid-October in these markets.

All About EasyBall Part of Microsoft’s innovative family of input devices, EasyBall offers better control for little hands and, unlike standard mice, won’t run off the edge of the desk, requiring a young child to reposition it. The stationary design enables kids to use EasyBall wherever they want – even on their laps. In addition, a large, easy-to-find button makes it simple for kids to know where to click. EasyBall has won several awards, including the Industrial Designers Society of America Gold Award, LearningWare Reviews Year’s Best Software Titles and CES/IDSA Innovations Best of Show.

The EasyBall software is just as smart as the hardware. The Pointerland game allows kids to point and click to their hearts’ content in a farm scene full of sound and animation, as well as to choose their own cursor from a range of icons including an airplane, rocket, star, baby chick or ant. In addition, large cursors are easy to see, and the two default software settings adjust sensitivity and double-click speed – one for beginners and another for “old hands.”

Parents will love EasyBall’s dual-input driver, which allows both a Microsoft Mouse, or compatible pointing device, for adults and EasyBall to be connected at the same time, each in its own port. Children and parents can work and play side by side, each using their own pointing device.

All About Freddi Fish

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds is a Junior Adventure(tm) that has won the hearts of children, parents and critics alike, and earned more than 20 awards, including the 1996 Newsweek Editor’s Choice Award, Family PC’s 1996 Top Rated Kids’ Software Award, Home PC Kids’ Lab #1 Rated, Parenting Magazine’s Software Magic Award and Computer Gaming World’s #1 Family Software Game of 1995. Grandma Grouper’s kelp seeds are missing. Without them, all of the ocean fish will go hungry. Luckily Freddi Fish and her pal Luther are on the case. Kids will have a blast as they help the duo explore an ocean full of hundreds of secret click points, solve problems and play with enchanting characters along the way.

Junior Adventures challenge and inspire kids to think for themselves in creative and flexible ways. Children play with faithful, lovable friends as they discover captivating worlds where they direct the journey and overcome challenges at their own pace. Humongous Entertainment’s heart-warming characters and engaging adventures come to life through feature-film quality animation, original music and the power of a child’s imagination.

System Requirements

Microsoft EasyBall requirements for the Windows and MS-DOS(r) operating systems include MS-DOS version 3.1 or later; Microsoft Windows version 3.1 or later (recommended, required for Pointerland); a PC with an 8088 or higher microprocessor; 3.5-inch high-density disk drive; 4 MB of available hard disk space (Pointerland requires 4 MB of RAM); and MDA, CGA, EGA, VGA, SuperVGA, XGA or VESA VCI-compatible video adapter monitor (Pointerland requires a VGA or better monitor). An audio board and headphones or speakers are required for Pointerland audio.

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds requires Microsoft 3.1 or later, a 33 MHz 486 PC or faster, 8 MB RAM, 256-color graphics card, a double-speed CD-ROM drive and a sound card.

Humongous Entertainment Established in 1992 by Shelley Day and Ron Gilbert, Humongous Entertainment creates high-quality, hand-drawn, interactive Junior Adventures, Junior Field Trips(tm) and Junior Arcade(tm) CD-ROMs that encourage kids to explore, discover and have fun. Endearing original characters include Putt-Putt(r), Freddi Fish, Fatty Bear(tm), Buzzy the Knowledge Bug(tm) and Pajama Sam. Humongous Entertainment, located on the World Wide Web at ( , is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GT Interactive Software Corporation (NASDAQ: GTIS).

Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, EasyBall, MS-DOS and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Humongous Entertainment, Junior Adventures, Freddi Fish, Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse, The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Pajama Sam, No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside, Fatty Bear, Junior Field Trips, Buzzy the Knowledge Bug, and Junior Arcade are trademarks of Humongous Entertainment, Inc. These products and Humongous Entertainment Inc. are not in any manner affiliated with Putt-Putt(r) Golf Courses of America Inc.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please check out the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

If you are interested in viewing additional information on Humongous Entertainment, please check out Humongous Entertainment’s Web page at .

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