Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Educational; Ages 8 to 12
Standalone Release(s) : 1985: BERT BOOT, Highlight, £6.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : HIGHLIGHT, 36 Sherbourne Close, Barry, SOUTH GLAMORGAN
CF6 5AQ. Tel: 0446 745482
Disc compatibility : Unknown
"Multiplication and division problems. Said EDUCATIONAL COMPUTING 'It is certainly the most amazing visual representation I have seen yet in a piece of educational software.'"
Even working out multiplication and division problems can be fun when you have BERT BOOT, the intrepid insect squasher, to help you!
This entertaining program takes children through the process of solving multiplication and division problems in 8 carefully graded stages, allowing you to choose the number and type of problem.
If your answers are at least 80% correct, then you can play BEAT THE BOOTS; an exciting arcade game in which your insects have to tackle droves of vicious footware to reach the safety of the jam pots.
Instructions' Source : BERT BOOT (Highlight) Back Inlay
Review (Electron User)
With BERT BOOT, Highlight Software have attempted to brighten up straightforward multiplication and division practice. The start of the program is a boot called Bert. Bert's passion in life is squashing insects. You can choose to practice multiplication, you are told how many insects Bert can crush in one second.
You then watch him do it - and afterwards you are asked how many he can squash in a certain number of seconds. If you have opted for Easy, you are given help with how to tackle the problem. With Medium, you get less help, and on Hard you're on your own.
The same options are available for division, except that now you are told how many seconds it takes Bert to squash a number of insects. Your job is to find out how many he can squash in one second.
To make the "work" more palatable, there is a reward in the form of a game if you get at least 80 per cent of your answers right.
Now to the drawbacks. When it's said that Bert squashes eight flies in one second, he actually takes more than two seconds. This is not only wrong, it can also be very tedious. Watching the demise of 90 insects takes over 40 seconds.
Another problem concerns the division part of the program. The computer "beeps" every time Bert has done one second's worth of crushing. To successfully answer the division questions, you need only remember the number at which you heard the first "beep". The reward game is based on the charming notion that the insects should have a chance of outwitting streams of boots and helping themselves to some jam. It is in fact a version of FROGGER.
It's a nice idea, but made very frustrating by the fact that the keyboard buffer isn't cleared. This means that when you get your first insect to the jam, the second one starts, out of control, and probably commits suicide.
Also, the keyboard delay time and auto-repeat need setting, so that your insect doesn't start, stop and then start again. The keys you have to use are the cursor keys. You are expected to discover this for yourself.
These are bad keys on the Electron, being right by <BREAK>, and are better avoided in children's programs.
These faults could easily be put right and I hope that Highlight will amend them in future and perhaps provide an upgrade for exiting customers. If that were done, I could recommend this educational program for home and school use. As it stands, the idea is good and the graphics appealing but it is too frustrating for children to use.
Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 2.12