Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 10, NO. 10 / OCTOBER 1984 / PAGE 76

Software for learning mathematics. (evaluation) David H. Ahl.

In the 18 writeups in this roundup, you will find evaluations of 25 packages consisting of more than 40 individual programs, all aimed at one or another facet of mathematics learning.

The overall quality of educational packages has steadily improved over the years; however, there are still a disturbing number of packages on the market that can be only described as "swillware." Also, we keep hoping to see more innovation rather than just another batch of arithmetic drill and practice programs in a different guise.

In keeping with our policy of running absolutely honest reviews, we have called a spade a spade and a lemon a lemon. We found excellent packages from both large publishers as well as small, "unknown" vendors, evidence that the software business is still a wide open field. Some of the worst programs had the brightest packaging, proving, again, that you can't judge a book by its cover. Math Blaster

Math Blaster has been on the educational programs best seller list for months and months, and with good reason. It is an interesting and motivational approach to arithmetic drill and practice with some important extras--in particular, drill on fractions and decimals, and the ability to enter your own problems.

The package comes on two disks, a program disk and data disk. The data disk contains more than 600 math facts/problems: 20 to 30 in each of five skill levels of each of five operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions/decimals).

The Math Blaster package includes four types of exercises on the disk. The first is called Look and Learn; it displays each math fact, e.g., 4 + 6 = 10 in each file. Each fact stays on the screen for four seconds, although by pressing the arrows, you can increase or decrease the dispaly time.

Build Your Skill presents the math facts as problems (4 + 6 = ?) in groups of ten. At the end of a group, you are presented with your total elapsed time to answer all the questions, number correct, and percentage score.

Challenge Yourself is a similar type of exercise, except that an operand is the missing piece (4 + ? = 10).

Math Blaster itself is an arcade type game in which you are presented with a problem at the bottom of the screen and four possible answers overhead. Using the keyboard or a joystick, you must position a little man over the mouth of the cannon under the correct answer. Pressing the fire button causes the man to be hurled--human cannonball style--at the answer which bursts like a balloon when he hits it.

At the left is a seal bouncing a ball on its nose; this serves as a timer. You must shoot the man before the ball returns to the seal's nose, a considerable challenge if you choose a high playing speed. Also, at higher speeds the problem and answers are displayed for only a second or two rather than remaining on the screen.

You must also watch the descending balloon on the right side; if it hits the needle on the ground it pops and the game ends. You can bounce the ballon back up as it nears the ground, but it costs you precious time.

At the end of a game, you are shown the total score which is a function of the problems you got correct and the speed of play.

Entering a new data file with problems that may be particularly troublesome to you (or your child) is a easy as simply typing the problem itself. In addition, the file editor includes a mini command set (edit, list, insert, delete, save, get, print, clear, quit, and help).

The program is well-designed and graphically appealing, and it should hold the attention of children in the age range of 6 to 12. All in all, Math Blaster is a real blast! Tri-Math

As its name implies, Tri-Math includes three games that provide drill in arithmetic and problem solving.

Alien Intruder is a game in which you must answer simple arithmetic problems. A problem appears in the center of your circular spaceship. Each wing contains a number, one of which is the right answer. Using the arrow keys, you must select the wing on which the right answer is displayed before the buzzing alien (looks like a spinning spider or circular saw blade) lands on that wing. If you select the correct answer, that wing is filled with anti-alien juice and you move one step closer to warding off the attack. If you select the wrong wing or do not get to it in time, the alien eats it.

At the end of a round, a graphic summary of the score is shown. When you being, you specify what type of problems you want and the number of wings you want on your ship. You can also use the Pre-Set Control Option to maek the game easier or harder by changing the speed of the alien and choosing easier or harder problems.

Digitosaurus is a game in which you must help a creature get older and wiser by choosing the arithmetic expression on the screen with the largrest value. After you choose an expression, you must evaluate it. Hence, if you choose 235 + 90, you must enter the value 325.

Although it may seem that you are only doing one problem of the three, to choose the right expression, you must either calculate or estimate the value of all three. We like this type of game since it reinforces both calculating and estimating skills. As with Alien Intruder, you can use the pre-set option to make the problems easier or harder.

At the outset we must confess that Math Mansion was our favorite program of the three. It is a delightful combination of a graphics adventure game with arithmetic drill. In Math Mansion, you start in the library of a 14-room house. To enter another room, you must complete an arithmetic expression such as 78--=13. Note that you must supply both the operator and an operand. In most cases, there is more than one way to complete the expression; in the example, both 78 - 65 = 13 and 78 / 6 = 13 would work. Thus, the program is suitable for children with a wide range of math skills.

As with "real" adventure games, many of the rooms contain something that is necessary to solve a later dilemma (for example, the candle scares the bats), but to pick up an object, again, you must complete a math expression correctly. You are not penalized for an incorrect answer; you just stay in one spot.

There ar emany ways of playing the game. A floor plan is in the instruction manual; use it as you play and you can get out in 15 or 16 moves. Wander around aimlessly and it could take 60 or 70 moves. Or you can systematically keep track with pencil and paper. How you play is up to you, but by the time you get out, you will have learned a little bit about adventuring and a great deal about math expressions. All in all, a very nice package. Math Maze

When we first read the instructions, we were tempted to say that Math Maze is just another--ho, hum--arithmetic drill and practice game. And in a sense, it is. But in another sense, it is far more because it provides a high level of motivation that keeps kids coming back for more.

To play the game, you move a fly through a maze to pick up numbers to answer a math problem on the lower left of the screen. You may choose to do problems of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division (only one operation per set of ten problems). You select one of three levels of problem difficulty. For example, in addition drill, you may select sums up to 10, sums up to 20, or metal math (sums with a carry).

The disk contains 40 mazes of varying degrees of difficulty. Furthermore, you can change these mazes to suit yourself, or you can design your own mazes which can then be stored on a data disk for future use. To make things even more interesting, there are four maze skill levels: 1.) no hazards, 2.) with a spider, 3.) invisible walls, and 4.) spider and invisible walls. The game can be played from the keyboard or with a joystick; at higher skill levels, a joystick is almost mandatory.

The instant a new problem appears, a bonus point display starts counting down from 100. When you complete the problem correctly, you get as many points as are then showing on the display. However, you lose points for an incorrect answer or for being captured by the spider.

From this description, it should be apparent that Math Maze is an interesting game in its own right. The 40 mazes, coupled with those you may choose to create yourself, will keep youngsters coming back for months, honing their arithmetic skills in the process. The only limitation is that the problems thend to be on the simple side; thus we can't see it being used much beyond age 10. Success With Math

The Success With Math series from CBS Software consists of eight packages ranging from Addition and Subtraction (grades 1 to 4) to Quadratic Equations (grades 9 to 12). We used four of the packages, but we will just describe Fractions: Addition and Subtraction as being representative of the series. (For a detailed description of the higher level packages in the series, see Creative Computing, April 1984.)

The program provides drill and practice in addition and subtraction of fractions with unequal denominators. At the start, you select either addition or subtraction and the number of problems you wish to do. If you wish, a tutorial set of instructions will "walk you through" a sample problem.

As each problem is presented, you must decide upon the next step (change to least common denominator, add, or reduce). (In subtraction, there are four possible steps.) The program then takes you step by step through the operation. If you make a mistake, the program gives you a hint the first time and the correct answer the second time.

After each problem, you get a mini-summary of errors in procedure, computation, and lcd, along with an encouraging remakr. At the end of each set of problems, you get a similar summary for the entire set.

These packages have no graphics, no sound effects, and no cutesy frills--just a good, comprehensive, self-paced approach to learning. Perhaps most important, the user always succeeds in solving the problem and knows exactly where errors have been made. Path Tactics

Path Tactics is one in the first series of five consumer-oriented software packages from MECC. In case you are not familiar with the acronym, MECC stands for the Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium, one of the oldest and largest educational computer using groups in the world.

Long-time readers of Creative will recall that several vendors, including Creative Computing Software, used to sell MECC packages. These consumer packages, however, are completely new, although they are based on the same proven educational approaches.

The first five MECC consumer titles are a refreshing change from "more of the same" that we see so often. In addition to Path Tactics, the titles are: The Friendly Computer (an introduction for children 5 to 8), Early Addition, Problem-Solving Strategies (logical thinking for ages 9-15), and Mind Puzzles (more logical thinking).

Path Tactics is a game designed to teach basic arithmetic skills. You may play against the computer or a friend. You specificy what skill you want to practice (addition, division, etc.). Each player selects one of seven robots to make his moves on the field of play.

The playing area is constructed of five girders with 20 spaces on each (100 total). On each turn, you are given two or three numbers with which you must form an expression (4 + 6) and then provide the answer. Depending upon the exercise, either the second number of the expression or the answer is the number of spaces that your robot advances.

Eight spaces on the girders are marked with an "X." If you land on one of these, you drop down a level. Also, if you land on your opponent, you send him back ten spaces. Hence, strategy is a factor as well as completing the problems correctly. If you miss a problem, you are told the correct answer, but you don't get to move.

The animation of the robots is delightful, although after a while, the sound gets a bit tedious (there is a program option to turn it off). The program also has a "program manager" option that lets a parent select the type of problems that are available and allows resetting the winner's list (humans only--the computer does not get its name on the winner's list).

We liked this program very much although we recommend it for two human players rather than a human and the computer. In ten games, the computer won every one even though we didn't make a single mistake; that can be mighty frustrating for a child. Teasers by Tobbs

Teasers by Tobbs provides the old standby, arithmetic practice (in addition and multiplication only) in the form of a logic game.

Tobbs is a friendly, androgynous character who lays out a 3 by 3 grid of numbers. In the upper left is a sign (+ or X) which indicates the type of problem. The game can be played by from one to four players each of whom, in turn, must determine the number that goes in the box in which Tobbs is standing. Numbers in the top row are always added to (or multiplied by) numbers in the left column to fill in the boxes. For example, in the illustration, Tobbs is standing in a box that requires 39 to be added to 46 for a sum of 85.

There are six skill levels. In the first three levels, the top and side numbers simply get larger, while in levels 4 to 6 numbers may be missing from the top row and left column. This can get quite tricky forcing you, in some cases, to solve for the entire grid just to fill in a single box.

There is no timer in the program, but solo players may wish to see how many points they can accumulate in a given time, say 15 mintues, and try to beat this in future games. The game is suitable for ages 8 and older and should provide many hours of learning fun. Math Man

The Math Man package contains two games, Math Man and Self Test (which presents the same problems as Math Man but without the game elements).

The opening screens ask you to select (using joystick or keyboard) which game you wish, the difficulty level (1 to 12), and speed (four speeds).

In the Math Man game, you find yourself on a system of girders and ladders. At the top left is a target number (say, 83) and at the top right, a "total" number (say, 28). Around the girders are boxes, each with an arithmetic operation (+, -, X, and /) and a number emblazoned on it.

Your job is to maneuver Math Man around the girders and pick up the appropriate boxes to turn the total number into the target number. For example, to turn 28 into 83, we used -7 (28 - 7 = 21), x4 (21 x 4 = 84), +4 and -5. A slowly rising paint bucket on the right side acts as a timer. If it reaches the top before you have calculated the target number, it overturns and drenches the screen in paint, ending your turn.

We found the best playing strategy was to study the problem before pressing the spacebar to start the turn. Once the bucket starts to rise, it is rather nerve racking to deduce a strategy and maneuver Math Man simultaneously.

At lower speeds, either keyboard or joystick is acceptable; at higher speeds, players will surely want to use a joystick.

Completing a problem successfully results in a message "GOT IT" and a few musical notes. We think that a successful player deserves more of a reward than that, perhaps at the end of a round of three problems.

The game is well designed, Math Man is responsive, and the game can be interrupted to change the speed or level. It is a step beyond arithmetic drill and a good prelude to algebra. We recommend it for age 9 to 14. Flower Power

No, Flower Power is not a 60's trivia game; it is yet another arithmetic drill and practice game. It is called Flower Power because your reward for answering a problem correctly is a bright flower in your garden at the bottom of the screen. An incorrect answer results in -- what else? -- a weed.

After loading the program, it asks for your first name, the type of numbers with which you wish to work (whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or fraction/decimal conversions), and then the type of operation (+, -, x, /).

Ten problems are then presented one by one in the center of the screen. Your score depends both upon the answer you give and the elapsed time. If you answer the early (simple) problems quickly, the program adjusts the difficulty level up. However, if you miss a problem, the level is lowered slightly. Thus, the program should generally provide a sufficient (but not frustrating) level of challenge.

Although the level was self-adjusting, we were not particularly captivated by the program; watching flowers sprout gets old fast. Nor did we like the fact that fractions are written in a straight line (2/3); yes, this is necessary in typing, but most children expect them to be written with the numerator over the denominator. We also think that the program should accept decimal answers to four or five places; after all, if a child calculates the value of 3/7 to 0.42857 he should not be told that is wrong because the program is looking for 0.429.

Scores are automatically retained on the disk and may be viewed, printed, or erased from the included utility program, Report. Race Car 'Rithmetic and Ships Ahoy

Race Car 'Rithmetic and Ships Ahoy are--you guessed it--drill and practice programs in the four basic arithmetic operations.

In Race Car 'Rithmetic, up to four players may race, although we found that it was rather boring for just a single player. Prior to the start of the race, each player enters the type of problems he wants to do, his skill level (1 to 3) and how many seconds he wants for each answer; this allows players of different ages and abilities to compete fairly.

Then, as problems appear, players take turns in answering. An incorrect answer or no answer within the time limit causes the car to move backward or the player to lose a turn. Unfortunately, the program messages to players are divided into short phrases, only one of which appears on the screen at a time; RETURN must be pressed to see each phrase in a sentence, a rather cumbersome procedure. It takes 13 correct answers to inch your car across the screen to the finish line.

Any player who gets a score of 90% or better (0 or 1 wrong) is given an opportunity to play a short arcade-style race game, a reward that should provide good incentive for completing the rather boring problem part of the program.

Ships Ahoy has two games which provide math drill for solo players. In the first, correct answers propel a ship safely (and slowly) across the screen similar to the race car game. In the second, Mine Sweeper, you must select one of four mines that contains the correct answer to the problem shown overhead.

A third game on the disk is just for fun and lets you maneuver around an underwater maze collecting treasures within a one-minute time period. A fourth "game" is actually a sort of electronic etch-a-sketch.

All the games on these disks are rather slow paced and punctuated by overly long musical interludes. Non-competitive children who prefer a leisurely pace may like them, but they lack the excitement and motivation of some of the other offerings on the market. Starship Alert and others from the Wizard

A series of five math packages has been released by The Wizard.

Fraction Tutorial makes extensive use of pie charts and grids to explain how to simplify fractions and perform arithmetic operations on them. The graphics are fine, although we were somewhat put off by the NOPE, TRY AGAIN message that appears after each incorrect response.

This package is aimed at classroom use and has an extensive class management and password system built in. If your name isn't in the class roster, you can't use the disk. However, we don't think that home users should have to go through the cumbersome procedure of building a class file to use the program. (Moreover, on one of our disks, this procedure did not work.)

Starship Alert is a game which provides drill on various operations with fractions. In the game, you are defending a city from alien attack. You do so by solving problems (say 4 1/2 + 1 1/4 = ?). Four answers are shown below; you must type the letter of the correct answer. If you select the right answer, the alien spacecraft is blasted from the sky. The graphics are excellent, and the sound effects okay.

However, we are not enthusiastic about the game. Why not? Except at the lowest speed, it is virtually unplayable. Second, since time is so important, you are tempted to look for an answer that "looks right" instead of making sure it is right. For example, on the illustration, a quick glance suggests that the answer is D; of course, if there was another 5 and something fraction, you would have a more difficult time. Hence, the drill really boils down to one of estimation rather than calculation; we feel this loses much of the educational benefit. We also didn't like the fact that if you miss a problem, the program does not indicate the correct answer.

Another package in the Wizard series, Think Tank, presents arithmetic problems in a series of graphics settings. The concept is interesting, but the animation sequences tend to drag on. Moreover, the difficulty level is not user-selectable and ranges all over the place. Thus, while the package lists "grades 4 to 9," only an eighth or ninth grader would be able to play the game without getting very frustrated.

Sorry, Wizard, nice try, but your products just don't make it. Exploring Tables and Graphs

There are two packages in the Exploring Tables and Graphs series, Level 1 is for ages 7 to 10, and Level 2 is for ages 10 and up. The packages are substantially similar so we'll describe only Level 1.

Upon loading the disk, you are presented with a menu of five choices: getting started, tables, bar graphs, picture graphs, and area (pie) graphs. "Getting started" simply tells you how to use the keyboard and move around the program. Each of the graph sections allows you to choose a short verbal tutorial, a game ("play and learn"), or examples. The flip side of the disk lets you make, save, and print your own tables and graphs.

Once you know how the keys work, the best place to start is with the game. The games are quite simple and can be played with just two keys (one game is a form of Breakout in a circle, while another requires you to open a parachute at the right moment to hit a target). The purpose of the games is to get a few numerical values for plotting on a graph. Hence, it is best to play at least three or four games. The program then takes your scores and puts them in a table; it asks you to provide the labels (name and date).

The program then draws a graph of the results and asks you to identify the longest bar or biggest wedge. If you make a mistake, the program gives you a mild Brooklyn razz and won't accept it.

If you don't want to generate data by playing the game, you can go directly to the examples where you will find "interesting stuff" such as the results of frog jumping contests, weather data, and lengths of the rivers of the world. There are two or three examples for each type of graph.

As mentioned, on Side 2 of the disk is a program for making your own graphs. It is completely menu driven and extremely easy to use, although you will have an easier time if you read the six pages in the manual describing these procedures.

In addition to the double-sided disk, the package includes a 32-page instruction manual and 12 activity masters for reproduction in schools or for individual use at home.

All in all, Exploring Tables and Graphs is an outstanding package and on the same professional level as we have come to expect from Weekly Reader Family Software. Graphing Equations

Graphing Equations is a disk containing an introductory section and four diverse programs.

The first program, Linear and Quadratic Graphs presents graphs on a grid (-10 to 10) for which you must determine the equations. At the start, you have a choice of five types of equations: lines, parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas. You also have a choice of beginning with easy problems and working up to the hard ones, beginning anywhere in the list, or practicing problems of mixed difficulty.

The program then selects a graph and plots it. This target graph is shown in one color, while each equation you write is graphed in a second color. You can make successive tries to see how changes in the equation change the graph. When your equation matches the target graph, the program presents another problem.

Once you are familiar with various types of graphs, you will want to move on to Green Globs. In this game, 13 green globs are scattered around the grid. Your job is to write equations (which the program will draw as graphs) and try to hit all the globs with as few equations as possible. In the expert version of the game, five "shot absorbers" are scattered about the grid. Also, in this version, you are allowed to use trigonometric functions (alone or in combination with other functions).

A second game, Tracker, requires you to locate linear and quadratic graphs that are hidden in the grid and determine their equations. You can use two types of "shots" in this game: probes and trackers. A probe travels along a single horizontal or vertical line and marks a point whenever it crosses the path of a hidden graph. A tracker is an equation which, with a bit of luck, will trace the path of the hidden graph.

the last program on the disk is a general equation ploter which will plot practically any type of equation, even ones with log, trig, and exponential functions.

The programs are very forgiving on input. For example, 3 times x can be written 3x (or even x3) just as it would appear in an algebraic equation. The package is well-designed and should be very useful to students studying equataions and graphs. Pick the Numbers

Pick the Numbers is a package of two games that provide practice in ordering decimals and fractions along a number line in a range of 0 to 1.

In the game, you move a pointing hand through a field of barriers and fractions (or decimals or both). You must guide the hand to pick up the numbers while avoiding the barriers. To score, you must pick the numbers in the correct order. For the first game, Pick It Smallest, you must pick the number with the smallest value. In Mystery Pick, you must pick the number represented by the question mark on the number line.

If you hit a barrier, you lose a hand (you start with three and get a new hand for each 5000 points scored). The pointing hand moves upward on its own. You can start or stop it with the spacebar and move it left and right with the arrow keys. You score 100 points for each number picked up correctly and 500 points for correctly picking all the numbers in a round.

There are beginner and advanced versions. In the beginner version, fractions have denominators of 2, 3, 4, or 5, while in the advanced version, the denominators range from 2 to 12, and there are more barriers.

The top ten scores for each game are stored on the disk. The package includes two identical program disks--a thoughtful touch. We found the games were challenging, addictive, and, not incidentally, helpful for learning about decimals and fractions. That's a winning combination! Algebra Word Problems

Algebra Word Problems is the fifth disk in a set of five on symbols, number systems, and equations from Intellectual Software. At the outset, we should mention that these disks are designed for classroom use, although that by no means precludes their use at home.

This disk contains ten lesson modules ranging from simple, introductory word problems to more complicated equations with two unknowns. The simpler lesson modules have up to ten problems with two or three questions per problem (forming the equation, reducing it, solving it). Later lessons have only two or three problems, but some of them require up to nine steps to solve. The program takes you step by step through each problem--no jumping to conclusions here!

After completing a lesson, the program shows the number of questions that were correct and a percentage score. This summary is also shown if you break out of a lesson by pressing ESC.

Some questions are multiple choice while others require a numeric answer. An incorrect answer brings up an explanation and the question is presented again; a second mistake causes the correct answer to be shown and the program goes on to the next question. In general, there is little feedback--pro or con--except problem explanations and a scoring summary.

For classroom use, the disk contains a classroom management system that records the summary scores of each student on each lesson.

In summary, these are no frills, no nonsense, solid educational programs. The Algebra System

The Algebra System is a set of programs which gives users practice in solving certain types of one-variable word problems using the "box method."

Upon loading the program, you select one of ten types of problems (three types of age problems, three of rate/time/distance, two of coins, and two of investments). There are more than 20 of each type for a total of more than 2000 on the disk -- you won't get bored with this! After selection, the problem is presented on the top part of the screen, and four to six boxes are drawn on the bottom (see example).

Since these are single variable problems, you are asked for the letter you wish to represent the variable and where you wish to place it. The program then asks you to fill in the other boxes with entries (equation fragments) related to the variable. If your response is inappropriate, the program offers the option that you have made a mistake, but it does not give you the correct answer.

When ll four boes have correct entries, you are requested to enter one side of your equation. If the program judges this correct, you are asked for the other side. The computer then solves the equation, but you must calculate the answers to the originally stated word problem. Upon successfully doing so, you are given a short congratulatory message and returned to the problem selection menu.

Frankly, we have never seen a program quite like this one. But not only is it unique, it is easy to use, offers exceptional educational benefit, and is great fun. Our applause to Elaine David for an outstanding package! Quations

Quations is a game for one to three players (plus the computer) in which players must form equations on a Scrabble type of board. Scholastic terms it a "crossmath" game.

At the start, you select which operations to use (+, -, x, /, or a combination). You also determine a time limit for each hand. Each player is dealt six number tiles and seven operation tiles. The objective on each turn is to use as many tiles in your hand as possible, subject to the limitation that only one equal sign may be used. You get points for each number in your equation plus each operation.

Players take turns forming equations which must, of course, intersect with one or more of the equations already on the board. Certain colored squares on the board double and triple the value of the tile or equation placed on them.

After each turn, your hand will be replenished so you always have 13 tiles (until the tile pile is depleted). The game ends when no further equations can be formed. The winner is the one with the most points.

We like Quations. The rules are easy to learn and, by varying the operation types and timer, it can be suitable for a wide age range (age 8 to adult). Younger players will want the computer to keep track of scoring, while for older players, tallying up the score of each play is an added challenge (do it wrong and you get no points). Quato, the little androgynous computer player verifies all equations and scores, so no cheating, please. The Math doctor

The Math Doctor is an unusual program; indeed we know of no others on the market like it. Basically, it is a tailored diagnostic test on number concepts, the four arithmetic operations, and fractions. The test is geared to the grade level of the user.

The test measures a student's mastery of 39 finely defined objectives such as incrementing sequences, rounding numbers, two-digit sums with regrouping, decimal products, multiplying fractions, and adding mixed fractions with regrouping.

The test usually takes from 20 to 45 minutes to complete. After finishing, a parent or teacher (or student) can view the evaluative results on the screen, print them out, or save them on a data file.

The program does not provide any tutorial material or drill and practice, but points out areas in which either instruction or drill is needed. We feel that the Math Doctor is an excellent diagnostic tool and, because of its branching strategy, is much more efficient (and less frustrating for the test taker) than similar pencil-and-paper tests. Math Alert

Math Alert is a refresher and remedial course in basic arithmetic operations. According to the instructions, "It can help you picture more clearly what really is happening in arithmetic operations."

The disk has 13 modules ranging from number facts to operations with fractions and decimals. Although the manual says you can "work at your own pace" and "move on by pressing the ESC key," we found that this did not work. Thus, you are confined to the rather slow pace of the program.

Indeed, this was just one indication that, despite the good intentions of Micro Program Designs, the package was rather poorly executed. For example, the instructions talk about providing "practise." Words continue from one line to the next and are broken whenever column 40 is reached. For example, on the end of a line, we find THI and on the next line, RTY-SEVEN. If you finish one module and want to go to the next one, you must go through the entire five-screen opening dialog. Even many of the actual explanations were not at all clear--and we're not exactly math dummies. We could go on, but there is not much point in it. Our recomnendation: leave this program on the shelf.

Products: Tri-Math (computer program) - Evaluation
Math Maze (computer program) - Evaluation
Success with Math (computer program) - Evaluation
Path Tactics (computer program) - Evaluation
Teasers by Tobbs (computer program) - Evaluation
Math Man (computer program) - Evaluation
Flower Power (computer program) - Evaluation
Race Cards 'Rmithmetic (computer program) - Evaluation
Ships Ahoy (computer program) - Evaluation
Starship Alert (computer program) - Evaluation
Explorint Tables and Graphs (computer program) - Evaluation
Graphing Equations (computer program) - Evaluation
Pick the Numbers (computer program) - Evaluation
Algebra Word Problems (computer program) - Evaluation
Algebra System (computer program) - Evaluation
Quations (computer program) - Evaluation
Math Doctor (computer program) - Evaluation
Math Alert (computer program) - Evaluation
Math Blaster: In Search of Spot (Children's educational software) - Evaluation