This tape magazine was briefly mentioned in the article on Magnetic Magazines in the July issue of CRASH. Anne Menneer, the person behind Kiddisoft, aims to build up an interactive magazine using letters and pictures from children as well as offering a range of programs designed to have a learning content at the same time as being fun to play. Edition number One of the magazine contains six games covering a variety of skills from adding up to ten in Adder to word matching in Pip. There is also a Nature Corner where, m this edition, the child can learn about the Great Tit. A simple adventure game, The Adventures of Pisky Green, is to be a regular feature.
All the activities incorporated in the magazine are the sort of things you'd find going on in a primary classroom letter and number work, reading, finding out, etc so the cassette would be useful for reinforcing these basic skills. Most of the games are relatively simple and easy to play, though in Pip the word matching game where a series of words of a similar pattern diip, hud, dab, dub are flashed onto the screen, the letters are so small that a child would have difficulty in deciphering the word. The scansion of the short doggerel verse in Humpty is rather unsuccessful:
If Humpty's sum is wrong you see
Then you must press any key
If Humpty's sum is right
Then do nothing and sit tight.
The adventure game about Pisky Green is quite an interesting attempt to make a computer adventure more accessible to the young child. In the game, you are Pisky Green and the bad Raven has taken seven of your treasures including a tin of fudge, and a bottle of mead which you have to go out and recover. Instead of having to type in a command in the usual way, a question is displayed on the screen eg: Will you go north? The other options available are only displayed it the player indicates that north is not the desired direction by pressing N for No. Daniel and Nicholas enjoyed this game, and if will be interesting to see how the adventures develop in the forthcoming editions of the magazine.
All in all, I like the idea behind this tape magazine, particularly 1 the Interactive aim This, though, depends on the response from children, so I hope that parents and teachers will encourage their children to send off their pictures and letters to the Kiddisoft Club With a little bit of polishing, this magazine could lei a successful venture I, certainly hope it is.
: kept simple for a young child to operateKeyboard play
: responsiveUse of colour
: simple but reasonably effectiveGraphics
: not particularly inspiringGeneral Rating:
Quite good value for money if there are several children between 4 and 8 in the family, as there is something to suit everyone i the magazine.