This package comes with two cassettes in a plastic videostyle box. The games within are one of a series of four spelling programs under the Spellbound heading. Besieged has as its graphical theme that of a castle being attacked by the Infidel. You must get a Crusader to cross the moat and relieve the castle. This can only be done by building a bridge, the stones of which are made up by correctly spelling words. On the back of the box it suggests the age group for these games as being 15 to adult, and certainly the words encompassed in these two programs are not simple ones.
Each has three difficulty levels, easy to difficult. On the two easy levels you are given a clue and below it 12 jumbled letters from which the word must be made up. On the harder level you are not given any letters to use. A correct entry results in the broken span of the bridge above being repaired by one block containing the entered letter. If the entire word is correctly spelt then the bridge is fully formed and the crusader can cross into the castle. When 10 are successfully over the Infidel are beaten. Any incorrect entry results in the letter appearing as a building block against the castle walls and an Infidel leaps up on to it. With three incorrect entries the building blocks reach the top of the castle wall and the game is lost.
That's basically all there is o the game. The reason, presumably, for having two cassettes in the package (they are both the same) is to incorporate a sufficiently large vocabulary of words to make it worth while.
The graphics work very neatly with visuals complementing the game idea in a suitable fashion. Input and response time is quite fast. so there's no hanging about. The words to be spelt and the clues given make for an entertaining as well as educational program which should prove valuable as a home teaching and revision aid. It should also make for a family quiz evening game. The use of clues adds a crossword problem solving element to the straightforward problems of spelling correctly some quite hard words. Clues like 'distinct separate' turn out to be the word 'discrete'. And this points up another aspect of Besieged: that of forcing the player to recognise the vagaries of English spelling. Discrete and discreet, principle and principal are examples of the sort of thing we all stumble over, and this program makes the most of them.
: alphabet keysResponses
: fastUse of colour
: simple and effectiveGraphics
: useful beepsFeatures
: two cassettes in one boxGeneral Rating:
For advanced and not so advanced spellers, but it does require some knowledge of words.