Math Rescue/Word Rescue

reviewed by Andrew Haylett

Math Rescue and Word Rescue are shareware packages written by Karen Crowther, and are designed to teach children basic arithmetic and word recognition skills. The games are animated and colourful, and, judging by the enthusiasm of our young evaluators, are popular with children from age four upwards (even adults can get hooked!). Math Rescue teaches basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and also presents maths problems in a simple `real-life' context as well as in simple algebra form. Word Rescue teaches word/picture association. Both games are interesting to play, with Math Rescue being somewhat faster and more demanding.

Both games have three episodes with different levels; the first episode of each (used for this review) is freely available for evaluation, while the other two episodes are available at cost from Apogee Software or their distributors. The content of some of the later episodes (a haunted house, for example) may be of concern to some, but in general the storyline and displays are inoffensive.

Resourceful children will soon find after a few sessions with Math Rescue that the maths problems can be turned off completely, thus avoiding unnecessary educational distractions while sliming Gruzzles! However, this facility can be disabled permanently by the parents after installation. The games will probably be of most educational value to younger children whose basic arithmetic and word recognition skills need training. Older children can use it to improve their speed, or just to have an enjoyable break.

Each game takes up around 1 Mbyte of hard disk space. The games run under DOS and require an EGA/VGA display. There is full musical accompaniment (which, fortunately for domestic sanity, can be disabled) if you have a sound card, and also simple sound effects for those without such equipment.

The programs may be found at the following locations:

Apogee's distributors in the UK, Precision Software Applications, may be contacted on 01223 208288.

Copyright © Family Matters 1996