MAPPING A COURSE THROUGH THE FOREST
PHIPPS ASSOCIATES has produced a simulation program for the 48K Spectrum to teach the art of orienteering. The Forest is presented very professionally, with a map and a detailed booklet to accompany it. The program offers a pre-set route but you can also map your own course and use that instead.
The program is definitely not for novices. The booklet warns that you need a ruler graduated in millimetres and a protractor for measuring angles to participate; the graphics change to show your position as you move, taking into account the contours of the terrain and variations in bearing and length of step.
You use the cursor keys to move. The left and right arrows move you 11.25 degrees each time, the up arrow moves you forward for as long as you keep it depressed, the down arrow turns you 180 degrees to face the way you have come. Other commands allow you to check your bearings, see your control card, enter your code and check your time.
Unless you are an experienced orienteer, it is very easy to get lost and the booklet recommends you to keep track of all your moves as you make them.
Even experienced orienteers will probably be relieved to know that it is necessary only to arrive within five metres of the finish point marked on the map.
The graphics are simple but effective and the booklet provides very thorough explanations. The Forest is available from Phipps Associates, 172 Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey KT10 0SD. The complete package costs £9.95.