Merlin's Maths logo

Europress £25.99

This month we take a look at five new packages aimed at the very young user (Noddy's Playtime, Paint and Create, Spelling Fair, Merlin's Maths, Playdays and ADI French). Tony Dillon looks back to the days of short trousers and runny noses - it's nice to see that he hasn't changed.

The third Fun School special to appear this month is Merlin's Maths, written completely in AMOS, supplied on four disks and designed to explain basic mathematic fundamentals in an interesting and entertaining way. The setting is Merlin's castle, with its six main rooms each of which has particular tasks to complete.

In the Perfect Potions room, you have to complete some addition and subtraction puzzles to turn a puny knight into a magnificent warrior. The weapons room explains the basics of weight, along with a touch of multiplication. The Magic Machine shows how formula and equations are used, as you collect all the data you can and try to fill in the missing parts of the sum.

As with all the Fun School specials, the games run on a reward basis. For every question you get right, you are rewarded with a little animation. Get a series right, you are given something a little bigger. For example, in the Conference room, for each question you get wrong, one of the three torches blows out. Should all three torches go out, Merlin will run as the Vikings storm the window.

It does not cover as many topics as, say, ADI Maths, but then again it is aimed at a lower age range. If all you want to know about are the more basic mathematical functions, then this is fine.

A specialized package, but well executed. If your child is having trouble with maths, then this is the product for them.