Megamaths Tables
(by BBC/Logotron)
This software presents tables practice in the form of a game. The task
is to collect the key for each room in the castle by completing the activity
in the room and carrying out a speed test in the dungeon. There are 9
rooms in all  one for each table from 2 to 10. The keys are presented
in groups so a player has to master the 2, 5 and 10 tables before she
can go on to 3 and 4, then 6 and 9 and finally to 7 and 8. Fortunately
a system of passwords allows the teacher to override this and choose the
appropriate level for a particular child and also allows children to restart
the game where they left off at the end of the previous session.
Each activity is completely different from the others and it is not always
obvious what you need to do. Unfortunately the instructions for the activities
and hints on remembering the tables are only provided in written form
so weak readers will need plenty of help to get started. They may also
be confused when, in places, the speech bubble on screen says one thing
and a voice says something else.
Although all the graphics are excellent, the games vary in quality with
the most mathematically useful being those for the 2 and 4 times tables.
Strangely those for the 5 and 6 times tables provide visual reinforcement
of multiplication being successive addition to children who get the answer
right (and probably don't need it) but offers no help at all to those
who get it wrong.
Another problem is that some of the games give a response to a wrong answer
which is more appealing than that for a right one. This is most noticeable
in the 9 times game where a right answer makes the king and queen kiss
and a wrong one makes them fall through a trapdoor with a scream. You
don't need much knowledge of boys to work out which one they will prefer
and the same applies to the bird that poohs if you get a wrong answer
for the 5 times table.
At the end of each game, there is a tables test which is timed but there
is no time limit so children are not unduly pressurised. This test is
appealingly presented as a dungeon wall of numbers which gradually changes
to a picture of the castle as the correct answers are clicked. The questions
include all the tables covered so far in the game, not just the one tackled
in that room, so if you start at the 6 times level, the test will cover
the 2, 5, 10, 3, 4, and 6 times tables. Unfortunately it is easy
to complete the test successfully by just clicking numbers at random.
Plus points 

Minus points 

Overall Impression
Not suitable for weak readers and those who find maths difficult but can
provide useful tables practice for other children.
Compatability
Windows 3.11 and 95/98, Acorn, Apple Mac and Power Mac
Made by BBC/Logotron