L.E.A.P. Disks 5-9 and Conclusion
♥ Utah – I only give this one a heart because you ain’t gonna find a program like this in many other places. It gives you a map of Utah, then outlines a county. You’ve got to guess it and the county seat. It’s pretty much the only way you’re gonna learn these on a computer, dude, short of working at a post office or title company.
Fract1 – Gives you a rectangle or other object, a certain fraction of which is shaded. Guess the fraction. If you’re right, an ASCII space rocket takes off! USA! USA! USA! USA!
Slope – You give it two points on a graph. It finds the slope, y-intercept, and equation, and graphs it.
PFactors – Give it a number. It will give you its prime factors. Eventually. It takes a while to compute.
KeyFind – Another “press the right key program,” this one also draws a bit of a picture for each right key press then plays “The Stars and Stripes Forever” when you finish.
Aptitude – A college entrance exam, like the title screen says?!? No, just silly puzzles like:
Man overboard! Et cetera.
Quadrat – Solve a quadratic equation! Or get the solution and fill in the quadratic formula!
CompHist – A brief history of computing, from the dawn of time to 1980. You learn, then take a quiz. (Hint: the first computing tools were apparently fingers.)
PValue – Place Value. Uses ASCII drawings to help you learn decimal places, both before and after the point.
SolarSys – Learn about planets. Take a quiz. Laugh at the pitiful knowledge we had about some of the planets before Voyager 2 visited them (esp. Neptune). Cry when you realize Pluto isn’t a planet anymore.
Jeff.Q – Wouldn’t load. Presumably questions for the CATS program from disk 4, although it causes an error when I try to load it using said CATS program.
♥ ABoxes – Attribute Boxes. A fun, venn-diagram-esque game. You’re given two boxes, each with certain attributes (for example, one box will accept large things, while the other accepts only circles). You input a certain shape, color, and size, and the computer draws it either in one box or the other, in both boxes, or outside both boxes (i.e. a large yellow circle would go in both boxes, where a large green triangle would go in box 1, a small blue circle would go in box 2 and a small red square would go outside both boxes). Once you’ve put a few objects on the screen you guess what the attributes for each box it. Sometimes the attributes are negatives (e.g. one box only accepts things that are NOT blue).
AddWCar – It gives you an addition problem and you solve it (using the joystick). It lets you do the carrying as well. Notable only because the sound effects make it very stressful.
AlgSpell – I guess they were trying to go for two academic categories in one game here. A word quickly flashes on the screen and you’ve got to type it, spelled correctly and all. The gimmick: all the words have to do with algebra or higher math (words like “finite,” “hypotenuse,” or “vector”).
Americas – Give it a country in North or South America and it will give you the capital. Also vice versa. Can take a countries/capitals quiz. Fun?
Amortize – Loan Amortization. Give it a principal, interest rate, and a certain number of years and it’ll give you how much interest you will owe, along with monthly breakdown. Depressing.
Anthom – An antonym and homonym game. In the antonym game, it gives you a word and you type the opposite. The homonym game doesn’t work and just makes you play the antonym game anyway.
Astronom – Give it a day and time (in PST or PDT only, for some reason) and a longitude, and it gives you a bunch of statistics that contain the word “Greenwich” in them.
♥ ATrain – Alphabet Train. It gives you a word and you pick up letters from the Alphabet Train to spell it. Notable mostly for the OCD plungers that get mad when you pick a wrong letter and the fact that this is the game that taught me “I’ve Been Workin’ On the Railroad.”
Average – Put in numbers. It will give you the sum and average. Obviously made for teachers, since it says “Enter scores” and at the end “Press Return to do another student.”
Bagelsup – Bagels SUPREME!!! Just like that Bagels game from Disk 1, except with a two-player option. Still pretty much Master Mind.
BarChart – Put in info. It draws a pie or bar chart. I guess this was what passed for PowerPoint in 1980.
Compound – It’s supposed to teach you compound words. Really just an exercise in tedium, as it gives you something like “book mark” and you type “bookmark.”
Counting – It displays objects, moving objects, or plays beeps. You count them.
♥♥ Dairy – Dairy Farmer. This one gets two hearts because it’s the only thing on these disks worth playing for more than two minutes. A fairly advanced dairy farm simulator, where you buy cows, feed them and milk them, and sell the profits. You’ve got to maximize milk-producing by buying the right kind and number of cows for the acreage and feed storage capacity of your farm. You’ve got to be smart about it too, for after you gain a certain amount of profit the game ends and tallies up how efficient you were. It’s a challenge to do well, but a lot of fun, too.
Datasort – Enter up to 100 items. They get sorted alphabetically and/or numerically.
Decimals – Another arithmetic game, this one with decimals added to the mix.
Dinosaur – Some brief info about dinosaurs with a quiz at the end.
DulBingo – A 5×5 grid of numbers appears. Simple addition problems appear at the bottom of the screen. You select the answer to the problem in the grid. Once you get five in a row, you win. Can be two players.
♥ Engineer – I’m not sure what this game has to do with engineering, other than the fact that you build a bridge in it. You’re in a canyon and you can build either upward, to the right, or diagonally. The catch is there’s a little inspector guy wandering around and you can’t build above him (so you can’t just draw a line over the whole canyon). Instead, you’ve got to slowly build up so the inspector will be high enough for you to connect the top edges of the canyon. As you can see, often these bridges do not conform to sound engineering principles, but oh well, it’s still relatively fun.
English – A dubious spelling quiz. Dubious because in the age before computers could adequately synthesize voice the only way you could show a word to spell was to spell it! This clearly defeats the purpose of a spelling quiz. It’s OK anyway, since this particular quiz doesn’t spell everything right (moviestar is not one word, for example) so its education value is suspect anyway.
Estimate – Gives you a list of numbers out to two decimals then asks you to estimate the total. I guess the alternative is to add the numbers so this is a bit pointless as well, unless there’s some written lesson to go with this that I don’t have.
Excused – You get to save a list of names! For an excused list(?). Apparently I saved a list of names sometime in elementary school, which goes as follows:
- How should I know?
- Mr. Warbucks
- Name 1
- Name 2
- Name 3
- Name 4
- Name 5
- Name 6
- Name 7
- Name 8
- What a yutz!
- ZZZ… I’m at the bottom!
Fiboprn – Didn’t load
Flashcds – Another arithmetic quizzing program. Ye gads, how many different boring ways of making people solve addition problems are there?!?
Mult12 – Multiplication problems. Oddly enough you can only work on the tens, elevens, or twelves times tables.
♥ Doggie – A variation of that game played with eight pegs, four of each color, set in a row with one space in the middle. You have to move all the pegs of one color to the opposite side and vice versa. You can only move a peg into an empty space next to it, or by jumping one peg and one peg only. This version, instead of using pegs, uses barking dogs that are actually pretty cute and jump up and down and wag their tails and bark and all turn their head in a cascading fashion to look at the one dog you picked to move. Of all the versions of this simple game you can find this one is pretty fun to deal with.
Fraction – A variation of “guess the number” that uses fractions. It also has a number line that shrinks every time you guess to show you the possible range in which the number lies.
Goldbach – A proof of Goldbach’s conjecture, which states that every even number greater than two can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers. You put in an even number and it gives you the primes that add up to it.
Graphit – You type in a graphing equation and the program graphs it. Doesn’t actually work.
Graphit8 – Same as the above, but the program actually works.
♥ HiSchool – High School Confidential. This was both a fun and frustrating experience. It was basically a text adventure like Zork that took place in high school. The object supposedly was to take at least six subjects and then graduate if you did well in the classes. In practice, however, you ended up wandering around campus, skipping classes and searching for the elusive hall pass (which expired after a while), since the game never tells you how to take classes. You’re all like “Take ye exam.” And the game says “You can’t take ye exam.” And you just have to sit there and wonder why you can’t take ye exam, because the game’s certainly not going to tell you, and there are no fancy graphics to help you out. Forsooth! Of special note, however, is if you ever wander into the school vault you end up in a dark passageway which winds around in the bowels of the school. Unfortunately you meet no trolls or grues and you just end up in the English room or something (assuming you find your way anywhere instead of wandering forever and dying of starvation). If I could figure out how to pass this game I’d be happy, but so far: nothin’!
HorzDril – Another freakin’ arithmetic program!! How many of these are there?!?!?!?
♥ Hurkle – You’re given a 10×10 grid, in which a Hurkle is hiding. You give a pair of coordinates and the game tells you in which direction the Hurkle hides (N, E, NW, etc.) Once you guess it, it appears and smiles for you! Awww! Notable mostly because of the goofy-looking hurkle and because you only have a limited number of guesses, so you can work on your deduction and direction skills.
MusicFl – Draws a staff (treble, bass, or both) and a note. You type what note it is, and then it plays it. Interesting for two reasons: it times how long it takes for you to guess each note (and works that in to your score), and according to the title screen it was created by James Brown?!? The Godfather of Soul? I guess he wanted funky schoolchildren to follow in his musical footsteps. Sadly, the game does not play “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” if you do well.
Nameplay – Strange little typing game where it gives you a name and then you type it. Strange because the list of names it gives you is, verbatim: Mommy, Daddy, Suzi, Shelley, Dixie, Cinder, Bingo, Barney, and Grandma. I guess it’s useful if a hillbilly needs to type the names of the people living in the second-story bedroom (including the dog).
Rockspel – A Hangman knockoff, but instead of building a hanging man you build another one of those ubiquitous ASCII rocket ships. USA! USA! USA! USA!
TTest – This is, and I quote, a “T-Test for two independant(sic) variables.” I have no idea what that is. The program doesn’t explain it. As far as I know, you enter in some numbers and then get an error message because the numbers weren’t valid.
Change – The program asks you for a certain amount of cents, and you have to tell it how many quarters, dimes, etc. you would have to give it. Effective for preparing young minds for the fast food industry.
Oregon – The lamest version of Oregon Trail ever. Your options are severely limited as to what you can purchase, you can’t name your traveling party, and instead of hunting you just type “BANG” to get food. Lame lame lame.
♥ Snark – From the smarty-pants programmers that brought you Hurkle. This game is very similar, with a unique twist: instead of just guessing coordinates, you input the center point and radius of a circle. If the Snark is inside the circle it is drawn in red; if it’s outside, it’s drawn in green, and if it’s on the circle, it’s drawn in white. Once the center of your circle matches the snark’s hiding place, it pops out and dances! Hurray! Quite a bit of thinking involved here, but it’s fun.
World – Like the American Capitals game on disk 6, but in Europe and Asia (and North Africa). Obviously outdated. Bonn isn’t the capital of nothin’ no more!
WhatIsIt – A picture gets drawn, and you guess what it is. Usually it’s pretty obvious, but sometimes the pictures may be a bit too crudely drawn:
Sadly, I got that one wrong.
WhatDoc – Doesn’t work.
Usage – Tests your knowledge of regular and irregular verb tenses, especially past. Yay.
Triples – Gives you Pythagorean triples less than a given number you put in. (Pythagorean triple = any three integers that can be the measurements of the sides of a right triangle.)
♥ Nuke – Why does this one have a heart? Oh, simply because this program details the inner workings of a friggin’ nuclear power plant, that’s why! Your job: maximize the power output inputting different control rod amounts without melting the plant down. That’s right, it’s Homer Simpson’s job, but even more primitive. Homer makes it look easy, though, as this is the diagram you get of the workings of the plant:
Then you get a crash course in how the control rods work, as well as a notice that this particular plant has no automatic safety precautions in place. Your mission: don’t be Chernobyl. Good luck!
Addition2 – The last program on all of these disks turns out to be. . .oh, look. Another addition quiz program. Kill me now.
So, what was the point of these disks, anyway? The range of education one expected to possess or gain by using these programs ranged the gamut from “find the key on the keyboard” to “operate a nuclear plant.” For whom were these disks intended? Who put them together? What does L.E.A.P. even stand for? Some, if not all, of these questions may never be answered by mankind in our lifetime, and go down in history as one of Earth’s greatest mysteries, next to “Where’s the beef?” and “No, really, how many roads must a man walk down? ‘Cause I’ve gone down a lot of ’em.”
In any case, I’m done with this L.E.A.P. stuff. Next time you read an Atari Review on this site, it will hopefully be of a game that doesn’t involve addition. Chau!
Vous vivez…pour maintenant…