Turn the Tables

by Jim Flewker


Issue 16

Jul/Aug 1985

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Turn the tables is a counting game intended for young children of age three upwards that can also be used as a memory test for older children.

Parents will need to help young children and the program can be explained as a 'fairy tale'  thus: You are travelling through a strange land when you come to a kingdom where the ruler challenges 'Build a Castle and you may stay in the Kingdom. To do this you must count correctly all the items on the Magic Table. Each time you do so correctly the items will be turned into diamonds with which you may build your castle. If you are wrong the items will turn into Bugs which are no use to anyone. Tell me your name and the Court Piper will play a tune for you'.

The program is used with a joystick except for setting the initial options and typing in the player's name. The player uses the joystick to move an arrow to a number between 1 and 11 in response to an on-screen question. When the arrow points to the number which the player thinks is correct, the button is pressed and either diamonds or bugs appear. As the player acquires enough diamonds for the next stage of the Castle, the Castle built so far appears in the centre window. This can be cleared by pressing the joystick button. When the Castle is completed pressing the button will re-run the game.

The score is shown at the top and the number of diamonds needed is shown in the upper text window. In the normal game the table remains on the screen for the child to count the items but in the memory game, the table disappears after a selected number of seconds.


Various options can be selected at the beginning of the game by the parent.

RANGE - The number of different items from 4 to 7. The more items there are, the fewer of each will appear.

BASE - The number of diamonds at which the first part of the Castle appears.

MEMORY TEST - If chosen, the number of seconds (in multiples of 5) that the table stays on screen may be selected.

Jim Flewker is Head of Languages at Sir John Nelthorpe School, Brigg, South Humberside. He also sent in a number of programs designed to teach children French and German which may be of interest to some parents.

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