Attention parents! Halloo out there! Remember how your delightful offspring conned you into buying a Spectrum? 'Awww, but it'll help me with my school work!' Remember that? Well, here's your chance to get your own back with Scetlander's latest learning game Henrietta's Book of Spells, designed to improve the spelling of 7-10 and 11- 14 year olds. Like Scetlander's previous game Hooray for Henrietta (maths for 7-11 year olds), Book of Spells combines an exercise in spelling with a fun and on-screen to prevent any interest wandering off.
The story and animated sequences concern hopeless Henry who, as a result of being too happy for his own good, has been turned into a fat frog by the evil witch Morgan the Morbid. Only by correctly completing a series spelling games can Henrietta discover the magic word to return Henry to his human self.
There are five different spelling games to play: Flash flashes a word on the screen and tests the user's ability to memorise and repeat the spelling, Complete puts up a word with the vowels missing, the user has to complete the word. Crack-it is an alphabet-based code breaking puzzle, Hang-up is a hangman game and Jumbles tests the user's ability to recognise words from anagrams. The user can select to play the five games with words five to nine letters long. The editor is one of the most appealing features: this allows users to create their very own dictionary of words to implement in the game.
for the 11-14 year olds, the very basic graphics and animation within each game will seem pretty poor compared to the stuff they're used to playing, and the story's a bit soppy for them (the hard nuts!). However, works well and should appeal to the 7-10 year olds and improve their spulling, erm, spelling.