CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Kidsoft Computerware
Burnaby (B.C.), Didatech Software Ltd., 1991. IBM 3.5", Apple 5.25". ISBN 1-55030-067-9 (school edition, IBM 3.5") $59.00, ISBN 1-55030-069-5 (lab pack, IBM 3.5") $139.00, ISBN 1-55030-217-5 (site license, IBM 3.5") $295.00, ISBN 1-55030-062-8 (school edition, Apple 5.25") $59.00, ISBN 1-55030-180-X (lab pack, Apple 5.25") $139.00, ISBN 1-55030-202-7 (site license, Apple 5.25") $295.00. Also available in Apple 3.25", IBM 5.25", Commodore 5.25" in school edition and lab pack. Distributed by Didatech Software Ltd.

Grades 1 to 3/Ages 6 to 8

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

Didatech Software advertises Fay's Word Rally as a means to "help your students develop a powerful vocabulary, while enhancing their reading skills." The program is presented in a maze format and the object of the game is to drive a rally car through the maze to the word that fits best with the given clue.

The game comes with eighty sets of words and clues, based on the Ginn Reading Series and targeted at grades 1 to 3. Additional disks are available to extend the program to grade 7. A record-keeping system is included for teachers to check the progress of up to forty pupils per disk. An added module for the program, "Create Your Own Game," allows vocabulary and clues to be custom made.

I experimented with the IBM 3.5" disk and was very disappointed with this piece of software. It does not meet the needs of today's Primary language education. Even with the timer shut off, I spent more time with my co-ordination and concentrating on the race car than I did reading. The race car is the single motivation for reading, and only a nod of Fay's head prevents students from guessing until the correct answer is found. Graphically, this software is behind the times. The motions are stilted and the letters are not rounded. Technically, it also needs updating. There should be an opening menu that gives the user the choice of application. It is necessary to exit the program and return to the disk directory to change applications. The hard drive installation procedure should be one-step. The manual is not well organized and it is often necessary to search in more than one area to locate complete instructions. To print students' results requires the user to be familiar with the specifications of the printer and the DOS command ""

I would not recommend the IBM version of Fay's Word Rally for classroom use. Special education teachers might appreciate the eye-hand co-ordination exercise; however, such limited usage does not justify the cost.

Brenda Partridge is a library-resource teacher and Co-site Manager of Computers at Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth, Ontario

line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais