Hotch Potch (Mastertronic) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Hotch Potch
By Mastertronic
Spectrum 48K

Published in Home Computing Weekly #116

Aimed at young children, this is one of Mastertronic's first releases on their Mistertronic educational range. and a very good start to the range too.

The program holds a number of pictures which are divided into a 3x3 grid, and after you've had a look at the complete picture to get it into your memory. the nine sections are mixed up. The child must then restore the picture to its original form in the least number of moves.

It's a fairly well-known type of puzzle, but this particular implementation is very good. There's a high-score table to add an element of competition. and although some of the pictures look deceptively simple at first. when they've been rearranged they can be very difficult to sort out. One picture in particular, that just had the simple words Hotch Porch on it. took me ages to complete (and an embarrassingly high number of moves. too).

As I mentioned. there is a counter for the number of moves taken. and this is an excellent idea, for by introducing that competitive element. the program encourages the child (and any adult too, for that matter) to think carefully and logically about each move rather than aimlessly rearranging the picture sections in the hope of randomly finding the right arrangement.

At first I thought this would be yet another uninspired piece of educational software, but I very quickly found it to be both challenging and addictive, and at the price it's a bargain.


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