Electron User


Playbox
By Comsoft
Acorn Electron

 
Published in Electron User 2.01

This superb tape, containing three separate programs, will be a valuable and popular addition in many schools and homes. I would certainly have spent my money on it even with only two of the three games - the third is the icing on the cake!

Hangman must have been played in every home and school as it's a superb way of stimulating young children to think about their spelling vocabularies without it ever appearing to be work. The trouble with some implementations I've seen for micros is that the graphics tend to either be very poor or to emphasise the gory ending of the game.

Here the graphics are bold, colourful and friendly - not even the youngest child would be frightened by them. There are a variety of vocabularies built into the program, sorted either by age or by subject category. There is also a most useful option, in which the teacher could input words for the child (perhaps related to a reading scheme or current topic), or two or more children could try to outwit each other. Although many educationalists frown on competition, children revel in it and the competitive angle is a strong stimulus for some.

The second game is called Memory and is a version of the old but enjoyable game of pairs, played with playing cards. Here two children play against each other, turning over two cards to reveal pictures and shapes. When a pair is matched, that child scores a point, the cards are left revealed and the game continues.

The method of entering the chosen cards is simple and fairly young children will soon grasp the idea. Although the graphics are less impressive than in Hangman, they are quite presentable and clear.

Phil Tayler

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