Story Machine

reviewed by Paul Bennett


Issue 9

May/Jun 84

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STORY MACHINE is one of a series from Spinnaker and I wish that I could recommend it as much as Monkeymath, but I can't.

The idea is nice, children can type in a story and the computer will act it out on the screen. Unfortunately there are several drawbacks.

Firstly, the story is printed out in capital letters at the bottom of the screen and the programmers should have been aware that small children learn to read in lower case first. The pictures are not in colour. The vocabulary is very limited so after a while a child will have exhausted most of the possibilities. The choice of vocabulary is also very strange. Given a choice of only 40 words, would you have chosen 'bumpas' or 'zot'? Also, for instance, whilst there is 'jump' there is no 'over'. Finally there are complicated rules about how many characters can be on the screen and where they can be which young children would find hard to follow.

We got our copy at almost half price on special offer but I would not have wanted to pay the full price for this one.