Mark Patterson goes back to school with a pair of releases from Europress.
The latest edition in the Europress ADI range is aimed squarely at the preschoolers with the aim of giving them a thorough grounding in basic character recognition and sentence structure. In addition to these exercises there are also games which teach children to recognise sounds, tell the time and match shapes. The exercises are written with the national curriculum in mind along with copious amounts of user-friendliness at every step.
If you already have a copy of ADI Junior Counting you will instantly recognise the similarities between it and the latest products in the Junior range. Apart from the main screen, they also share several games, such as the face designer and jigsaws.
On the lighter side there is a driving game, complete with track designer, which pits the player against the game’s host, ADI, or another kid (or adult for that matter). Even this has multiple skill levels where the first makes the car almost crash-proof while level three produces a car with minimal road handling.
Although it looks like Europress have cut corners by including some features of ADI Junior Counting, the total package puts it at the top of the table in its age range. The activities are made as much fun as possible and the difficulty levels should make it worthwhile even for the most precocious kids. To teach common letter combinations the child is shown two letters, then a picture of an animal. They then have to decide whether or not these letters occur in its name. There is even a sort of computerised Fuzzy Felt where the user has to stick various animals on a landscape.
Almost as importantly, the package is surprisingly easy for computer illiterate parents to use. The help function explains where everything is and what it does. The manual takes care of any other points as well as explaining the benefits of each activity and the differences between the difficulty levels. It is, however, a bit patronising in places and whoever wrote it cannot spell “disk”. That aside it covers every area of the package in great detail.
To keep track of your child’s progress as you go along, the package automatically saves their results to disks, so that the next time you load the package they will be playing on the same level they left off. It also displays a progress report showing how many questions were answered correctly out of the number attempted.
If you want to give your child a head start in reading before they begin attending a play group or other preschool class you would certainly be hard pressed to find a better option than this one.
CU Amiga, July 1993, p.106