The acclaimed Fun School series teaches kids all about such loathsome things as spelling and maths so painlessly that they hardly notice that it's doing them good. The latest Under 5s package has six games all featuring various members of the Teddy family, who all just happen to be bears.
Apparantly, Addition is set in a nursery school, but it looks suspiciously like a normal school to me. There's a blackboard, a teacher and, worse of all, simple addition sums to be done. Still, if you get them right, you're allowed to go home early, hurrah!
Fun Train is all about matching pictures and words. One of the Teddies drives a train past a poster showing a picture or word. The train carries another picture or word in its tender. If they match, press the space bar and feel very proud of yourself. Nice concept, and nice graphics, even if the same pictures do keep cropping up over and over again.
Teddy's House is a fun painting program. In the lower levels you just paint the Teddies' house in whatever colour scheme you fancy. On higher levels the computer asks you to paint specific parts of the house in certain colours. It all gets loads more difficult when the names of the colours are taken away - a bit of a toughie.
Teddy D's Karaoke is a work of sheer genius. MC Teddy struts his funky stuff to the hits of the nursery; The Grand Old Duke Of York, Jack and Jill, they're all here. Your Speccy plays the tune and displays the words so that you can sing while Teddy D grooves. Great stuff. On Level Two you can hit the space bar really fast and watch Teddy D rock.
Then there's Teddy's Book in which you have to work out which bed-time storybook daddy Teddy is reading to his cubs. Finally, Teddy paint is a not-much-fun paint program that lets the collection down a bit.
Otherwise it's a brilliant disk with appealing characters, effective use of colour and spiffy sound fx. The only problem'll be prising your kid brother or sister away from the keyboard when you want to get back to Dizzy.
Top of the class. One gold star!
Teddy's house looks stunning (what was that about my colour coordination?)