WHAT'S THE TIME?
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Educational; Ages 3-6
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: WHAT'S THE TIME?, Collins, £3.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : COLLINS. No further information available.
Disc compatibility : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
Instructions currently unavailable.
Review (Electron User)
This is one of a series of early-learning tapes previously available for the Spectrum, but which have now been brought to the Electron. The packaging verges on the ridiculous, being about 11in x 9in - to contain one cassette. There is actually a work book included as well which presumably is meant to excuse the size but some manufacturers are really going to extremes.
Four programs actually comprise the package, dealing with hours, half-hours, quarters and minutes. Together they cover an extensive age range and also quite a wide band of ability. The trouble I found with most of them was that the unDRAWing and DRAWing of the clock hands seemed to be rather a slow and laborious process.
Hours introduces a little figure called Microman who works through his day to illustrate the passing of hours. There follows a fairly standard kind of test on hours, with appropriate responses from the computer.
Half-hours extends this idea, and follows a similar format which again means rather tedious drawing. Quarters starts in the same vein, but then asks the child to move the hands of the clock using the H and M keys.
Although this was much more meaningful to the youngsters I tried this on, even they showed signs of frustration at the slow rate of action. Minutes was altogether better, attempting to explain the difference between the numbers on the clock face and those curious expressions we use with minutes to or minutes past an hour.
The final part of Minutes asks the child to enter the time, by pressing the hours followed by the minutes.
If only the screen display could be made a little speedier on occasions, this would be a good piece of software for the parent to use at home.
Phil Tayler, ELECTRON USER 2. 4