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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Theodora Wood
Chris Bourne

DISEASE DODGERS is one of those programs which are much more fun than the program notes suggest. We are told that the game will show how health, diet and exercise are interrelated. It is based on this quite complex idea. You have to move the Dodger family over a series of jumps, eating food and drinking as you go along. The terrain varies and gets more awkward depending on which region of the world you are in.

The family consists of Dad, Mum, Gran, teenager and toddler. Invariably Dad has the best chance of survival, a dubious position to hold. As the dodger moves about the terrain he or she has to jump over obstacles and, if no food is eaten, gets progressively weaker. All the time various coloured blobs representing diseases attack your dodger.

The aim of the game is to build up immunity by eating the healthy foods on offer. Weight, immunity levels and survival scores are shown at the top of the screen.

Unusually for an educational game this has true arcade action. The dodgers have to take running jumps over the walls and not simply hop over them, which all adds to the motivation factor. The big problem with the game is with the graphics. Some of the foods are difficult to distinguish; for instance was that purple shape a dyed egg or an aubergine?

Despite the colour problems Disease Dodgers is fun to play and demonstrates the relationships stated if only on an elementary level. Certainly it is to be recommended as an alternative to the average arcade game for children between eight and 12.

Theo Wood

Memory: 48k
Price: £7.95
Joystick: Sinclair