TWO PLUS TWO EQUALS... ERM, SEVEN. OH DEAR, READERS, I THINK THE CRASH TEAM NEED TO RETURN TO THE CLASSROOM FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. OR ALTERNATIVELY, PLAY THE LATEST RANGE OF EDUCATIONAL GAMES RELEASED BY OUR PARENT COMPANY (GROVEL, SMARM). MARK 'SWOTTY GIT' CASWELL DONS A MORTAR BOARD AND ARMS HIMSELF WITH A CANE TO REVIEW THE FUN SCHOOL 4 PACKS...
There are three game packs on offer, each containing six games. These are for under-fives, five to seven-year-olds and seven to eleven-year-olds. Quite why the Ed asked me to review these game I don't know, at 27 I'm an old crusty (I reckon its punishment for deserting CRASH). But with the Ed's stiletto heel two inches away from my groin, I'll start with the under-fives pack:
First off we have 'Addition', where Teddy and five of his pals are sitting in front of a blackboard. Teacher Ted shows pictures and you press the corresponding number on the keyboard. Get it right and Teddy and his classmates are allowed out to play.
'Teddy Paint' allows you to become an Oli Frey acolyte for the day. By pressing different keys choose a variety of shapes and colours, so let your imagination run wild.
In 'Fun Train', Teddy takes a train ride. All you do is match the picture on the Fun Train carriage to the one in the middle of the Fun Train ride.
A bit of DIY (destroy it yourself) comes next as you help the decorators paint Teddy's house. Different parts of the house are highlighted and a range of colours are offered - if you want to paint the chimney yellow, go ahead.
In 'Teddy's Karaoke', you help him pick, play and sing a selection of songs for his party. Finally, Teddy's Books' sees Daddy Bear reading a story to Teddy and his friends. All you have to do is identify the book Daddy Bear's reading.
FIVE TO SEVENS
The five to seven pack kicks off with 'Library', where Freddy The Frog offers to help out with a bit of book tidying. So you're presented with a pile of books that need sorting into alphabetical order.
'Basketball' sees Freddy join the Harlem Globetrotters (the first person in the office to whistle 'Sweet Georgia Brown' will be punched). Out on the basketball court you identify the missing letter; a correct answer lets Freddy lob a ball into the basket.
Freddy goes to the supermarket next in 'Shopkeeper', our froggy hero tells you what he needs from the shop and you decide how much it costs (the price of milk these days, mutter, moan, whinge).
Help Freddy build his log cabin in the game (unsurprisingly) titled 'Log Cabin'. Simple sums appear on the screen; if you provide the correct answer Freddy adds another log to his home (get it wrong and he dies of hypothermia).
In 'Opposites', Freddy's wife wants to dive into a pond, but she can't until you answer some 'opposite' questions. Finally, Freddy wants to cross the pond, too, so answer questions to help him escape the crocodile.
SEVEN TO ELEVENS
Last but by no means least, we have the seven to elevens pack. In 'Proportions' you help Sammy The Spy work out decimals, fractions and percentages.
Your general knowledge is tested in 'Spy Qui'; if you succeed Sammy can carry out his mission. Next Sammy finds himself abroad, so in 'Exchange Rates' buy (and identity) five major currencies.
In 'Spy Travels', help Sammy find the secret spy base. He travels across the world in various vehicles but can't navigate to save his life (thicky!). And in 'Desert Dates' help Sammy answer historical questions and discover the secret of the pyramids.
Despite the fact I left school a decade or so ago, I greatly enjoyed playing Fun School 4. I was impressed with the presentation of all the games. The graphics are especially noteworthy - some are monochrome but others contain all the colours of the rainbow!
These packs are excellent value for money. Parents and teachers alike could do far worse than look at the Fun School range of games (phew, I think my job is safe) (bloody creep -Ed).
MARK … 83%
'Ooo, little teddies everywhere! I like a challenging game to play now and then, something to test my skills to the full. That's why I got lumbered with Fun School 4! The three packs cater for different age groups and all are full of fun, informative graphics and brilliant animated sequences. The Fun School series has all the educational value you need but presents it in such a way to keep the child interested. A favourite game of mine is Teddy D's Karaoke, where you select the nursery rhyme to bop along to and the words come up on screen. We've been playing it constantly in the office - it's driving everyone around the bend! I recommend Fun School 4 to anyone wanting to continue their child's education at home. I wish I'd had such great games to play in my early learning years (whadda ya mean, I'm still only little!).'
NICK … 90%
Down at the basketball court. What a nicely drawn Europress logo!
What a strange bunch of geezers!