Product: Das Schloss
Publisher: Chalksoft
Compatibility: Acorn Electron
Reviewed by: Dave E
Originally published in EUG #70

Chalksoft produced 'edutainment' titles, and many of the games which they marketted for the schoolroom-based Model B found their way onto cassettes for the Electron. Das Schloss is a game which I've never come across before - you gotta love that eBay! - which challenges you to a simple 'guess the German word' quiz, and builds up a picture of a castle on screen, adding a piece for each word you get right.

The package consists of three separate programs, all of which begin with the most irritating five second bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep as a 'Press STOP on tape' message is repeated all over the screen. The first two programs present text-only menus so that you can revise a particular area, e.g. the family or days of the week. Or alternatively, you can create your own set of words. The option that controls this is slightly confusing, in that there is an option for it on the main menu of program one but on selecting it, it actually just tells you to load in program three.

In relation to both programs one and two, graphically they're very disappointing. If the idea is to engage enquiring young minds, then you need to present them with colourful pictures, not monochrome Mode 4 squares. In addition, there's no sound. Again, I would have thought this would be prerequisite for this kind of title.

The quiz feels boring after just a few seconds. Questions are posed on the left of the screen and you simply type in the answers, using a function key if you need to put in a special German character, such as the a with umlaut.

There is not really a lot more to say about this. It is worse than a lot of magazine type-ins - even the third program to create the quizzes is not particularly user-friendly. It came out originally just a few weeks after the Electron hit the shelves and was probably knocked up by someone with the User Guide and a few idle moments.

To be avoided unless you really, really need to learn German on your Elk.