REVIEW

Marathon For Atari
Mike Kinnamon

More Than A Math Drill

Marathon departs somewhat
from typical math drill programs. It makes use of the Atari's graphics
and sound capabilities. The object is to advance your marathon runner
from the starting line at the left of the screen to the finish line at
the right. This is accomplished by giving the correct answer to the
math problem presented before your opponent does or before the timer
runs out.

When the game is loaded from disk or cassette, an
option allows one or two players. You may then select which
mathematical operation the game will focus on - addition, subtraction,
multiplication, or division. You may opt for a mixture of these
operations by selecting the general category instead.

Four Levels Of
Difficulty

There are four levels of difficulty; walker, jogger, sprinter, and
olympian. Each successively higher level decreases the amount of time
allowed to correctly answer the math problems. Pressing START begins
the game.

A math problem, nothing larger than two-digit
numbers, will appear near the middle of the screen. Two matrices (one
for each player) containing eight answers from which to choose appear
on each side of the screen.

Once a player has located the correct answer on the
matrix, he or she uses the joystick to position the cursor over the
appropriate cell and presses the red button to indicate the answer. The
player who gets the right answer first is rewarded with the advancement
of his or her marathon runner at the top of the screen.

The game continues in this manner until one of the
player's marathon runners crosses the finish line. On every fifth
problem, the players are asked to identify the multiple of a given
number. At the game's conclusion, the winning player will be ranked
from "Walker-Team Six" to "Olympian-Team One." These rankings are
derived from a combination of correct answers, advancements due to the
opponent's incorrect responses, and the number of times that the timer
expired.

Good Graphics

Geoff Brown, the author of Marathon,
employs effective mixed screen modes and color schemes. The flow of the
program is smooth and bug-free.

I have used this program in my fourth- through
sixth-grade classes and found it helpful in motivating students who
need remediation. Ten to 15 minutes seemed to be the attention span for
the majority of the students. Marathon can be put to good use in the
classroom.

Marathon

Educational Software Inc.

4565 Cherryvale Avenue

Soquel, CA 95073

Requires 16K RAM Cassette

24K RAM Disk

$19.95