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I.E.C. Software
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rosetta McLeod
Chris Bourne

Quest for A is the latest in IEC SOFTWARE's series of programs specifically aimed at children with learning difficulties. The program takes the form of an arcade-type game, with the player in search of a bag of gold. A rolling globe has to be moved through a network of caves as quickly as possible until you find the correct spelling o complete a word. All the words use the 'A' sound, and the child has to choose from ai, ei, ey, ay and so on.

There are several layers of difficulty to select from, and these build up to the completion of words such as 'ancient', 'neighed', 'investigation' and 'beige'. |One the second side of the tape a homophones program encourages the child has to distinguish between the spellings of words which sound the same but have different meanings such as plain and plane, veil and vale. Both programs can be played with a joystick, suing cursor control, or using specified keys, and it is also possible to select the length of time needed for the game. A fair amount of manual dexterity is required to remove the globe without touching the walls of the caves - if this happens the energy score displayed at the bottom of the screen is reduced.

Designed by educational psychologist, Jo Westwood, this is a game that will hold children's attention and improve their spelling skills without them being aware of it. The colourful and attractive screen displays add to the appeal of the game, and the children I tried it out on we keen to do well.


Control keys: choose from Kempston or Sinclair joystick, cursor control, or keys V, B, I, J & 9
Keyboard play: very responsive
Graphics: very attractive
Use of colour: good
General Rating: An extremely useful and professional game which would be of benefit to any child with a spelling problem.

Not Rated