Would that there were more educational programs which provide as much fun as this one! Aimed at the Geography classroom, this game teaches the user the capital cities of various countries, together with various facts about the countries Section One, with two levels of difficulty, uses multiple choice testing for matching countries and capitals. The player has the option of learning the work on the computer before starting the game (a very useful feature) and a one player or two player/team game may be played.
Each player has a safe in the attic. To reach it, a ladder has to be climbed by answering the questions correctly. The answers are entered by pressing a key 1 to 6 corresponding to the choice from six alternatives displayed. If, for example, the player is asked for the capital city of Angola, Luanda, Doha, Conakry. Salisbury, Roseau or Caracas might be offered. Choosing Option 1, Luanda, answers the question correctly and one rung on the ladder is climbed. When an incorrect answer is selected in the two player game, the other player moves up the appropriate number of rungs on his or her ladder: in a single player game and incorrect answer moves the player down the ladder.
Once the top of a ladder has been reached, the player can open the attic safe and release the money that has been saved (from CO to C90) first to pay off the mortgage, then to save for the whole day. When the thermometer on the screen is full, a problem is given in the form of the name of a country or capital with the letters denoted by dashes. Solving this problem results in the player being given a holiday destination together with a secret code which is needed for entering the second section of the program.
I found myself going to Greece, with ticket No 59 on Flight 16, and with the secret code 143. In this part of the game, the player is given £100 to gamble. Ten questions based on the holiday destination are asked, one at a time, with five answers to choose from offered on screen against a variety of odds. Money has to be gambles so that the amount held remains within a given range. Sometimes money has to be lost to stay within the range! The questions cover a range of facts about the country, from its national airline to its approximate area. Failing to reach the target amount reveals the answers to some of the questions, and another attempt is allowed. Success in this section of the game allows the player to embark on a flight to the allocated holiday spot, but towards the end of the journey there is an emergency and the plane has to be landed!
I found this game to be quite addictive. It is so enjoyable that the player is bound to pick up a lot of information without being aware that an education is being given! If used in the classroom, the game could also be useful in encouraging children to use reference books to find the answers without having to rely on guesswork. I'm afraid I haven't yet succeeded in landing the plane, but I'm definitely going to keep on trying! Winner Lakes A Holiday costs £10 for the cassette or £12 for the Microdrive version.
: mainly number keys, but clear instructions appear on the screenKeyboard play
: very responsiveUse of colour
: very good, but at times the flashing screen can be distractingGeneral Rating:
Brilliant! This game could be played by the family at home, or the children at school. Educational and tremendous fun.
Answer the questions right to climb the ladder to the attic safe and you can pay off the mortgage. Then answer some more questions to climb the ladder and grab some holiday money. Cameron's not part of his rat race - he lives in a caravan and thinks he's on holiday all the time!