The Giddy Game Show is a suite of early learning programs based around the characters used in Yorkshire Television's popular series. The principal aim is to get children to recognise the shapes of letters and the sounds they represent.
Program one is an alphabet book with 26 pages - one for each letter. Each page features one of the Giddy Game Show characters (Gorilla, Gus the Professor, or Giddy) plus a picture of an object. The name of the object is written in large and well-formed text with the initial letter of the word picked out in a different colour. It looks very impressive - but does nothing that a book can't.
A criticism of this program and the other three is that the programmers forgot that sound is different on the Electron and BBC Micro so some weird noises result on the Electron.
Game two is a jigsaw puzzle in which the child must assemble letters of the alphabet. Again the visual quality is good and children are led sensibly through a sequence of operations. The reward for success is a screen full of Giddies.
It's a pity the programmers didn't take off the keyboard repeat - that little omission makes it hard for heavy-handed youngsters to control the moving cursor.
Game three requires children to fly Giddy on his magic wand towards some food that Gorilla wants. The name of the food is clearly shown and various pictures of food appear with their initial letters. If the child gets the right food, Gorilla eats the word while the picture vanishes down Giddy's wand. Selecting a wrong food causes Gorilla to growl and frown.This program is great fun but because the cursor keys are used, there is a real danger of pressing BREAK in error. That problem does not occur on the simpler of the two levels as Giddy flies automatically and the child hits the spacebar at the correct food.
The final program is a maze game in which children can help to rescue the King who is imprisoned in a castle. They do this by guiding Princess Galaxzena around the maze past five objects. Some objects begin with forbidden letters and these cause the Princess to use up one of her three lives.
The child has to hit the spacebar when the required options is highlighted. Inevitably, youngsters are going to get the wrong options as the highlight moves on.
The whole package is a very attractive set of simple games aimed at children who are learning to read. The niggles I have are minor, and can easily be remedied by a Basic programmer.
One final complaint is that the instructions are barely adequate but overall, there are a lot of good bytes for your money and I would recommend the program.