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Fun School: Maths (DOS)

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Description

Fun School - Maths is an educational title that aims to teach maths by playing games.

The first thing that strikes the player as odd is that the game loads as Merlin’s Maths and that it was produced in conjunction with the makers of Penguin biscuits – hence the number of penguins seen in the game.

The story behind the game is that Merlin is having an off day and the castle is under siege by Vikings. The game opens to an animated view of the castle with humorous activities going on all around it, there’s a penguin in a boat – fishing, ducks swim in the moat but get out and walk across the drawbridge and scrolling the scene sideways there Vikings throwing sheep onto their ship.

Merlin can be seen moving around inside the castle, move the mouse cursor over any of the windows or doorways and a text box appears showing that this is a link to one of the maths mini games. The games in this title are;
  • The Crystal Conference: The king and four knights sit round a table. Merlin appears and asks a series of questions such as “How many have been to Wales?” and “How many live more than four leagues from Camelot?”. The player clicks on each knight in turn to get an answer then selects a number from the options presented to answer Merlin. Get a whole set right and goblets of ale appear and do a little dance, get too many wrong and the Vikings come in through the window.
  • Decisive Data: This tests the player’s grasp of graphical data. The player is shown a graph and is asked a question such as “How many castles has Gideon?”. Along the bottom of the chart are a list of knight’s names and above each is a stack of castle icons.
  • Perfect Potions: This is a series on mental arithmetic questions, simple sums with single digits. Every time a question is answered correctly Merlin’s wand gathers more magic, when he has enough Merlin casts a spell on a young lad standing in the centre of the screen in his shorts. The spells make his legs bigger, then his arms and finally his body, when he’s all muscled up a lady walks in and kisses him.
  • Magic Machine: More mental arithmetic but this time with two digit numbers
  • Weighty Weapons: The player is told what one unit of the following wood, iron, bronze and gold weighs. They are then shown a series of weapons each made from a different material together with the number of units of stuff they contain and are asked questions such as “Which is the heaviest?” or “How much does the shield weigh?”. At the end of the round there’s a little tune with a picture of a knight saying ‘Thank You’.
  • Broken Battlements: The door to the castle is open. Merlin conjures up some blocks and the player has to say how many are in each pile. With every question the Vikings can be seen rushing closer. If the player gets enough questions right the door is closed and we see the Vikings hopping up and down because they have been thwarted.
The player enters each game by clicking on a window or a door and exits by pressing the ESC key, as they leave they are given their score and Merlin appears to pay them in gold coins.

The game has sound effects and optional music but no spoken instructions. It plays in EGA, VGA or MCGA modes and is entirely mouse controlled.

Screenshots

Fun School: Maths DOS Title screen (MCGA)
Fun School: Maths DOS The game's menu screen, there's more off to the right
Fun School: Maths DOS Weighty Weapons: A typical question
Fun School: Maths DOS Title screen (VGA)

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Alternate Titles

  • "Merlin's Maths" -- In game title

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piltdown_man (155675) added Fun School: Maths (DOS) on Nov 03, 2017