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Discovery logo

Publisher: Micro Illusions
Price: 25.99
Authors: Sylvan Technical Arts
Release: Out now

Discovery 'An interactive, educational space adventure'. That is the only clue I was given that this, the latest in AMIGA POWER's hate campaign against me, is (please, no) a game for the younger player. How much younger is not specified, and neither is the exact nature of the education promised to the lucky infant.

At the heart of Discovery is a walk-around-collecting-things game. The idea is that you are aboard a spaceship which has run into trouble, and you have got to salvage it by collecting fuel crystals which are scattered around its decks. And then there is the 'education'. Every so often you will come up against a security door. To get through it a question needs to be answered, the type of which is selected from a menu at the start of the game. There are questions on spelling and maths of varying degrees of difficulty, and, erm, flags. Get the answer right and the door will open. Get it wrong and you will be given the answer and the chance to try again.

There are three main problems as I see it. Firstly, although the process of walking from left to right and going up and down ladders sounds simple enough, I could not get to grips with the control method and kept falling down holes and dropping off ladders. If I cannot do it it is hard to see how this 'younger player' is going to fare much better.
Secondly, the program makes extensive use of the Amiga's built in speech synthesiser. That is right, the one supplied on your Workbench disk which you probably loaded up briefly on Day One and immediately wrote off as a useless curiosity. The result is that our prospective student is likely to be asked such questions as 'Speeell Wmphthslmph'.
And thirdly, and perhaps most fundamentally, this whole business of asking questions and marking them right or wrong hardly marks the latest advance in educational software than quiz show-style questions and answers.

Amiga Power, Issue 4, August 1991, p.73

An unimaginative crack at the tricky educational market. Someone, somewhere must be coming up with better ideas than this.