Wild Words is a spelling game covering over 200 words which range from 3 to 14 letters in length. The menu offers 5 levels of difficulty -- level 1 includes simple words like 'bur', while more complex spellings such as 'people ' appear at level 5. When the choice of level has been made, the target word appears for a short time at the bottom of the screen. During the game, the player can see the word again by pressing H. The game element involves the child having to use the horizontal cursor keys for 5 and 8 on the Spectrum Plus) to move Microchimp and his wheelbarrow across the screen to catch the correct letters falling from the top. The letters must be caught in the right order to spell the target word. After each word is correctly spelled, the child is rewarded with a tune, and the flower on the right of the screen grows one step further.
The children who tried this game for me didn't think much of it and rapidly lost interest. The game was not strong enough to retain their attention, and they soon gave up, claiming it was 'boring'. From an educational viewpoint, the program seemed to me to be extremely limited and totally lacking in flexibility. Spelling is taught most successfully when the words have some sort of context for the child it would have been much better if the parent had been given the option of entering his or her choice of words for the child to spell, taken perhaps from a favourite hook, or if the package had included some reading material which used the target words in context.
Educational Aim: spelling
Age Range: 6 and over
Control Keys: H to see the word again, then cursor keys
Use of Colour: good