Most Heart Maths

by Peter Ohlmeyer

 

Issue 28

Jul/Aug 87

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Teach your children or accept a challenge with this multi-level maths program


Since I have never been too impressed with the few mathematical games for children that I had seen for the Atari I had been planning such a game for some time but it was not until the recent birthday of the eight year old daughter of one of my friends that I made up my mind how to develop what I felt to be the right combination of learning mathematics and having a little gaming fun. MOST-HEART MATHEMATICS is the result of my efforts. I cannot judge myself whether I have programmed something that meets the demand expressed above, however, the children that have played it so far were quite pleased with it and went on playing it again and again.


You might be intrigued by the title of the program and I don't blame you! This is because the title and all the prompts of the game were originally written in German and nothing else came to my mind as an English version of the title than 'Most-heart mathematics', because I wanted to save time and the title had to fit into the space provided for the German version. I don't even know whether the title is English or whether it is nonsense!

 

Anyway, type it in and play it and you will find out that it has quite a lot to do with mathematics and even more to do with hearts which, because it is written for children, play a very important role.


WHAT DOES THE PROGRAM DO?

 

Firstly, you have the choice between addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Secondly, you are asked to decide at which level ranging from easy to extra in three variations that you would like to your children's arithmetic skills to be improved.


According to your choices you are presented with three sets of six arithmetical problems. The answers are typed in on the keyboard but will not appear on screen until RETURN is pressed. It is important here to watch the keyboard carefully to make sure you have typed the answer you intended. When all six answers have been entered they are checked and wrong or right answers are marked accordingly. For every right answer, the ATARI displays what else? a nice heart. Wrong answers are indicated differently. If there are any incorrect results you are asked whether you would like to see the correct answers before proceeding.


Once all eighteen problems have been solved your total score is displayed. If you have reached a certain percentage of the total score possible, you have the choice between either going back to the next set of arithmetical problems or playing a little reward game instead.


That's all there is to it. The program was originally written without the time having an influence upon the scoring but I found that this feature makes the program interesting even for adults who mainly over-estimate their arithmetical skills. Every body is so used to using their 'Texas-Instruments ' when calculating 4 x 10 and assumes that the answer really is 39.99999!


Try Most Heart Mathematics yourself and play some rounds against an adult or even against your children and very soon you will be under time pressure and will make mistakes typing in the results that will reduce your scores considerably. The best choice for adults to start with is DIVISION at level 3:EXTRA. Have fun!


In conclusion I should point out that as the program was written for children there are many sounds in it that may not attract adults. I am sure that you will easily find out which GOSUB's you have to omit in order not to be disturbed by foolish sounds when solving some of the easy or the 'hearty' arithmetical problems.

 

AtariLister - requires Java

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