Although the games on this tape are specifically aimed at children with dyslexic problems, they may also be enjoyed by many young children who are not dyslexic. The first game, BeeDee gives children practice in distinguishing between b and d which are often confused. The aim of the game is to shoot all the letters which start the name of the object displayed, so that, if a dagger is drawn, all the d's must be shot away.
Before the game begins, some useful hints are given which encourage the child to form a mental picture of the shape of the word. He is told, for instance, that 'the word for bed looks like a bed, and so to write b you put the bed post first', and 'the word for dog has a tail hanging down. The dog is very sad if you forget that his nose comes before his ears. So to write a d you put his nose first.' When the game begins, a mark is deducted from the score each time an incorrect letter is shot at. The seven pictures which appear on the screen are chosen randomly from 12, and the level of difficulty increases each time.
City Maze is a game which requires directional awareness to anticipate the movement of a little car. The player has to drive the car across the city without crashing into a wall, and can choose between an easy and a difficult game. The words 'left' and 'right' are displayed clearly at the bottom of the screen, and an adult working with the child, could reinforce these words as the game proceeds.
Doors is another program which reinforces the left/right concept. Behind each of the doors, clearly labelled Left and Right, may be found enemies (snakes, spiders, and skeletons), and these must be killed with the correct weapon axes kill skeletons, fly spray kills spiders, and daggers kill snakes. To be successful, the player must read the words which appear above each door, pay due care and attention to the words for the enemies which all begin with s.
All of these games are extremely simple, with attractive and colourful graphics; BeeDee and Maze are particularly enjoyable to use. Doors is, perhaps, not so much fun, having less of an arcade-type approach. Having tried out these games both with very young children, and with older pupils with learning difficulties, I can vouch for their usefulness, and for their success in stimulating children to improve their performance.
Control keys: BeeDee 2 move left, 9 move right, SPACE fire, City Maze 2 move left, 9 move right, Doors 2 opens the left door, 9 opens the right door, SPACE to go on.
What a friendly little doggy! Encouraging young readers to get the letters d o and g in the right order for Fido in LEFT RIGHT, LEFT RIGHT.