The Micro User


Time Trucker
By A.S.K.
BBC/Electron

 
Published in The Micro User 3.12

Timely challenge

Many youngsters nowadays wear digital watches, but appear to have little real concept of what 10.35, for instance, really means. Indeed I have known children who will happily tell you it is "ten thirty-five", but are unable to tell the time on an analogue watch or clock indicating the same time.

Thus there is a vital need for programs which show a definite link between the two systems, such as Time Trucker from ASK.

On my first few run-throughs, I wasn't particularly impressed, as the time aspect seemed less significant than the game.

Time Trucker

This involves driving a truck around a series of farms collecting fresh produce which has to be delivered to the depot. However, as I used the program I became more convinced of its educational value within the classroom. The range of options will make it relevant to a wide range of abilities and ages.

The child takes on the role of Trainee Trucker, Trucker or Super Trucker, each leading to a slightly different game.

The farms are situated around a road system which scrolls in all four directions as required. They may be open only at certain times, and so clock watching becomes an important exercise.

Time Trucker

To aid the child, a large analogue clock face is shown at the bottom of the screen and the hands move according to the difficulty level of the current game.

There is, fortunately, an option to adjust the volume of the catchy little tune which sounds lovely for the first five minutes, but then wears a little thin. It is this sort of attention to practical details which make ASK programs well respected by teachers.

The graphics are very presentable, and the whole concept is one which provided a very challenging and enjoyable game in which the link between digital and analogue times is well demonstrated.

Indeed, when the children are in bed, parents could well find the game aspect quite challenging and enjoyable too.

Phil Tayler

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