The ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures: The Secret of the Living Volcano

Publishers The Learning Company
Developers The Learning Company
Release date 1999
Genre Educational
Game rating

Game Description

In ClueFinders: 5th Grade Adventures, the regular crew’s boat is swamped by a tsunami, which strands them on a mysterious island. Owen and Leslie are missing, and to find them and solve the secrets of the island, you must gather “CrypTiles” by exploring various sites and eras. Mixing adventure with educational topics including math, geography, word usage, sentence structure, history, ecology, and science, the game offers a wide range of subjects to hone 5th grade skills.

Gameplay often requires building bridges or paths across chasms or expanses, usually requiring recognition of shapes or numbers. Different types of CrypTiles, such as jade or turquoise, are awarded for successful completion. Play includes activities like driving a mini-sub, swimming underwater, connecting areas with gates, parts or bridges, following directions, taking journeys, and like tasks, all aimed at earning tiles for later use.

For example, beneath the sea, a set of gates must be opened to gain access to the island by creating words using CrypTiles. The five heads on the gate, all sea creatures, have different functions, thus the shark translates tiles to English, while the other heads transform the words for use in triggering the locks. Specifically, the first two skill levels provide information on how the fish heads manipulate the words (e.g., add “s” or add “re” to make a synonym or antonym), while the hardest level requires players to use the words given to figure out what each head does. Words can be modified only four times before a tile crumbles to dust.

Once on the island, players use maps and geography skills to explore the Revolutionary War era village to earn gold CrypTiles by charting a course using directions provided. Directions might include “cross the Louisiana Purchase at every step” or “Don’t cross the Atlantic Ocean.” Silver CrypTiles contain stories written by the villagers and are found in the Civil War era village, where the player must put them in the correct order.

Gold and silver CrypTiles are used to open the land gate, which requires usage of math skills including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by making the numbers on the tiles match the number on the locks. Again, tiles can be changed only four times before the tile is destroyed, and three rounds are required to open the gate.

After the ClueFinders friends are freed, it’s time to rescue the islanders and animals by crossing a chasm by making word bridges to get to the laboratory. At this point, the player selects a predator and prey animal in an experiment to allow both to survive for five time periods. Three correct rounds are required to free the imprisoned animals and islanders and finish the game.

ClueFinders: 5th Grade Adventures continues the series’ tradition of appearing to be more arcade-like adventuring than educational drudgery. The activities are fun and engaging, and the story holds interest even when individual activities get boring or repetitive. Kids who play the third and fourth grade adventures will find familiar gameplay in areas, such as the building of word bridges or the similarity of worm tubes to column building, thus creating a comfortable point of reference.

As in other games of the series, characters resemble or sound like real actors and personalities, including Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With the Wind and Marlon Brando. Though players may not recognize the voices or characters, adults will — and the antics are amusing to everyone. Movement is also similar to earlier games in the series with a simple point-and-click or click-and-drag mouse scheme. Both players and adults can access options, help and progress reports from Joni’s personal computer, Laptrap.

For kids embarking on the fifth grade, few games surpass the wide range of skills and adventure of this title. With excellent activities that draw players in as they learn, and a strong storyline to maintain attention spans, ClueFinders: 5th Grade Adventures will last until children are ready to proceed to the next level.

Review by AllGame

Download The ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures: The Secret of the Living Volcano

We might have the game available for more than one platform. The ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures: The Secret of the Living Volcano is currently available on these platforms:

Windows (1999) (569MB)

How to play on Windows

  1. Download and Extract
  2. Mount “The_ClueFinders_5th_Grade_Adventures_CD1” and run “SETUP.EXE”. Note: If setup does not launch, go to the “INSTALL” folder and run “setup32.exe”.
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to install the game.
  4. Play the game!
  5. Note: For the Personalized Learning Center, mount and install “The_ClueFinders_5th_Grade_Adventures_CD2.iso”.

Additional files, patches and fixes

The ClueFinders 5th Grade Adventures: The Secret of the Living Volcano Screenshots


Leave a comment

  1. Is there any available copy of the UK version? The maps in the Poison Garden activity are different and I wish to play with those.

  2. Hi . I downloaded the cluefinders Grade 4, which worked fine for a while but started freezing. I’ve downloaded again as well as grade 5, but the mouse is not working on eaither. Any suggestions?

  3. it says the file was corrupted and something about incorrect partitions or something? It won’t mount. Also, I don’t see a install folder to access the install32.exe file.

  4. Hey, I’m just checking, but was anyone able to get the game working after following the above mentioned steps? I’ve followed the steps above, word for word and downloaded WinCDemu to mount the ISO, however, upon trying to setup the game, I get the message: “Do you want to install? Y/N.”
    To which, I click “yes” and then nothing happens.

    The “Do you want to install?” message was from the Clue finders software itself, however, the installation never occurred. Any help would be much appreciated.


    Nvm, just solved the problem. Apparently a simple restart after mounting the ISO fixed it.


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