A&B Computing1st July 1988
Published in A&B Computing 5.07
The Princess And The Ring
Since the early days of using a computer in school, some of the programs that have given me great pleasure and provided a stimulating challenge to youngsters in my school (and yours truly!) have been the simulators from Cambridgeshire Software House. Having become leading specialists in this field, I wondered how they'd make the transition to adventures.
The Princess And The Ring is a branching adventure written specifically for the five to eight age range. The booklet suggests that it could be used with younger children who are competent readers - this might have been easier if the program had used larger text, but although older children may enjoy the story the interest level is aimed specifically at younger children so that may find the adventure frustrating.
In the story, the Wizard steals the ring without which the Princess cannot marry. As he hurls the ring into the air, he whispers a magic word to himself and it flies off and falls into a magic pool. The point of the adventure is to find the magic word that will get the ring back for the Princess to wear. The adventure starts at the gate to the wood and the user is given the choice of going through the gate or not - the first of the branches. There are ten picture screens - I found the tonal nature quite pleasing, but perhaps rather small and a little sophisticated for the age group (compare with the bolder approach of Sherston's graphics) - and more than twenty information screens to help solve the problem.