A&B Computing1st January 1985
Published in A&B Computing 2.02
I have to admit that I have been impressed with the vast majority of the output from this company both in terms of content and quality. Yet for some reason I don't feel quite the same enthusiasm for this program.
Although it is aimed at the five to 14 age group, I can really see it being most useful with the seven to 11 year olds. The aim of the game is to make a target number from another number by adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing your current score using the various "flags" that you find around the screen. In order to make the whole idea more motivated the game is based on a ladders and levels type screen with a little man painting the numbers that you need. Time is marked by the raising of a bucket and can become a problem on the higher levels. You have three men to work on each level and are automatically moved to a higher level if two or more are successful.
The game is fairly good and the graphics are exceptional for this type of game, looking almost as good as those you might find in an arcade game. The problem is that this company already produce a game of a very similar nature in Number Gulper and I cannot see why they should have brought out the same game in a different guise. I also feel that there is too little control for the teacher or parent over the level of difficulty of the task presented. The early levels contain addition and subtraction whilst the later ones have more multiplication and division. It would have been nice and possibly more useful to have these user selectable.
Finally, I cannot see how it is possible to see whether the child is achieving the result without watching them all the time. This can be important, especially as the game is supposed to teach that repeated addition is inefficient when compared to multiplication. A good fusion of arcade and educational game concepts but I'm not totally convinced that it won't encourage bad habits if used unsupervised.