Pip Goes To The Moon (Northern Micromedia) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

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Pip Goes To The Moon
By Northern Micromedia
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 5.07

Pip Goes To The Moon (Northern Micromedia) (BBC Model B)

There are, understandably, very few adventure programs for those around reception age because of the language problem, so I was pleased to receive Pip Goes To The Moon, from Northern Micromedia. It's intended for children aged four to six, "preferably being operated by one child at a time" and designed to allow individuals to produce their own adventure books. That goes against one of my criteria for a start, because I usually recommend group use of the computer, as the discussion generated is often the most important aspect of the activity, so I would have liked at least a single or group use option available, which shouldn't have been too difficult I believe.

The program works from a main menu, which allows the user to: Have an adventure, Look at/print an adventure, Edit the file, and gives access to two hidden options: enter style of letters (curved or straight) and type of disc drive being used. Before beginning an adventure for the first time, option three must be selected to set up a Pipfile disc to save children's adventures for review/printout under option two.

Having begun the adventure, most of the choices are made by pressing the Spacebar, but they will need to recognise the numbers one to nine, add to five, spell their own name, recognise the initial letter of three words, and match shapes, colours and words. At the beginning the user has to select what to take to the moon, how to travel to the space station and the moon - options in picture form are highlighted and selected by pressing the Spacebar. Help with the count down and through/past comets, a planet or star are asked for. After landing on the moon, a coloured stone is chosen, resulting in an encounter with a Space Spook, Moon Mouse or Moon Masher, with throw up a variety of problems.

At the end, the teachers' option allows the story to be saved to the Pipfile disc, looked at or printed out. The latter option prints out the child's own adventure, which can be made up into his/her own booklet. The print styles are ideal and the whole package a simple and pleasing introduction to adventures for nursery/reception children. The package comes with a sample printout and a series of illustrations which can be used in games and other activities.

Des Thomas

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