The two programs here aim to teach children to read using the phonic method-sounding out each letter of the word.
Splashdown involves completing three-letter words. It takes place at sea; each player has a boat made up of three-letter words with one letter missing. If the correct letter is chosen, an aeroplane collects the letter and bombs the 'word boat', which then explodes and sinks into the player's underwater store, providing a visual record of the finished word.
The menu allows you to set the skill level, and choose sequences of words which are similar (eg three all beginning with c and ending with t) or completely different (eg s-t, p-d). The position of the missing letter can also be selected.
Firefight involves completing words with pairs of letters. This time, the player has to rescue the heroine from the top of a burning building by bridging holes in the building's floor with letters' Again, there's a choice of skill levels, and the letter pairs can be selected.
Both games are very nicely presented and fun to play while providing practice in useful skills.
Keyboard play: fast
Graphics: very eye-catching and attractive, with effective colour.
Two enjoyable programs with built-in flexibility, so you can cater for each child.