The Micro User

The Giddy Game Show

Author: Rog Frost
Publisher: Mirrorsoft
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in The Micro User 5.01

The Giddy Game Show isa suite ofearly learning programs based around the characters used in Yorkshire Television's popular series. The principal aim is to get children to recognise the shapes of letters and the sounds they represent.

Program 1 is an alphabet book with 26 pages, one for each letter. An object is displayed and its name is written in large and well-formed text with the initial letter picked out in a different colour.

It looks very impressive but does nothing that a book can't. You turn the pages one at a time by pressing the spacebar and there is no option to go backwards.

The Giddy Game Show

Game 2 is a jigsaw puzzle in which the child must assemble letters of the alphabet. Again the visual quality is good and children are led sensibly through a sequence of operations.

The reward for success is a screen full of Giddies. It's a pity the programmers didn't take off the keyboard repeat, which makes it hard for heavy-handed youngsters tocontrol themoving cursor.

Game 3 requires children to fly Giddy on his magic wand towards food that Gorilla wants. The name of the food is clearly shown and various pictures of it appear with appropriate initial letters.

The Giddy Game Show

If the child gives the right answer Gorilla eats the word while the picture vanishes down Giddy's wand. Selecting a wrong food causes Gorilla to growl and frown.

This program is great fun but because the cursor keys are used there is a real danger of pressing Break in error.

The final program is a maze game in which chidren can help to rescue the King who is imprisoned in a castle. They do this by guiding Princess Galaxzena around the maze past five objects.

The child has to hit the spacebar when the required option is highlighted. Inevitably, youngsters are going to get the wrong options asthe highlight moves on.

The package is very attractive, and the minor niggles can easily be remedied by any Basic programmer. One other complaint is that the instructions are barely adequate, but overall I recommend the program.

Rog Frost

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