Smile (Poppy Programs) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing


Smile
By Poppy Programs
BBC Model B

 
Published in A&B Computing 2.06

Smile

Smile is a "musical colour matching" program for 2-6 year olds. Apparently it was nominated for the CTA Educational Program of the Year Award, so at only £2.95 I was intrigued to see it.

The option page is reached after London has burned down for the n'th time and gives the choice of running the program using the function keys or an auxiliary keyboard, altering the difficulty level and blowing a raspberry if a wrong answer is given. The program information slip suggests the user gets in touch with the publisher if they want to use the auxiliary keyboard - unfortunately, that's still in the development stages, but they might produce a version for the Concept Keyboard if there's enough interest! Difficulty level means an increase/decrease in the number of colours (2-6).

When the operation mode has been selected, a touch of a key starts the program. A coloured circle appears in the centre of the screen and in order to match the colour the correct function key has to be pressed - a coloured function key strip is provided. A correct answer brings features onto the circle, and the smile increases with each correct answer; five correct answers is greeted with a rainbow surrounding a smiling face and a very pleasing musical rendering of a nursery rhyme. This is the best part of the program!

I found the idea of matching colour between the screen and a small function key strip very unsatisfactory for the age group the program is intended - screen matching would be far more effective, and could be operated by using any two suitable keys, eg. Return and Space Bar.

I doubt if you'll be seeing this program in any Top 10 nominated by educationalists!

Des Thomas

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