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Written By Don Walton

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Number Painter is an exciting arcade type program.

It encourages its players to practise the number skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on twelve different levels.

There is also a Self Text option to monitor your improvement.

A painter is directed around a building site, to paint numbers that will make a Target Number, all before he runs out of time...

In All ASK Programs

Return Icon Remember: once you have typed in your response a program will deal with it until you press the RETURN key.
Escape Icon You can always return to the beginning of a program by pressing the ESCAPE key.
Delete Icon You can rub out anything typed in, before the RETURN key is pressed, by using the DELETE key.
Hand Icon Means : Please press the space bar to carry on with the program.
Face Icon Means : the program did not expect the response it has just received. Perhaps there was a typing error? In any case, to carry on, just press the space bar and try again.
Ctrl-S Icon All of our programs incorporate sound. There are various volume levels - holding down the CTRL key and pressing the S will change the level - keep pressing the keys until you are happy with the volume.

Using The Program

First choose whether you want to use the keyboard or the joystick.

You will need the following keys:
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Up, / - Down. RETURN and SPACE.

The movements are left, right, up and down. You will also need the fire button.

Then decide whether you want to play the Painter Game or try the Self Test. Use the Z and X keys or the joystick to select 1 or 2, then press the RETURN key or the fire button.

Painter Game

Now you have to choose a level. Use the Z and X keys or the joystick to move the box over the numbers, then press the RETURN key or fire button. As the box moves from level to level, the screen gives the number range for the Target as well as the numbers and operators that you can expect to find at that level. There are 12 levels so, if you are new to the game, choose one of the easiest levels like 1, 2 or 3.

Next, decide whether you want your painter to be Mr Plod, Mr Walker, Mr Swift or My Speedy. Use the Z and X keys or the joystick to move the box over each of the four numbers, then press the RETURN key or the fire button.

Your painter will then paint the number of the level you chose to play. Press the SPACE bar when he has walked off the screen.

The scenes changes to a building site with girders, ladders, three painters in the left hand bottom corner, a large pot of paint suspended from a pulley and numbers with +, -, or signs scattered along the girders. There are two important numbers at the top of the screen; the Target and the Total. The painter has to paint the numbers on the girders to make the Total the same as the Target.

How to play

When you are ready, press the SPACE bar so that the first painter can start. Control his movements with the Z, X, : and / keys or the joystick. When he arrives at a number that you want him to paint, press the SPACE bar or the fire button. Every time he paints a number the Total will change. When he succeeds in making the Total the same as the Target, the painter jumps up and down and thinks "Got it!". He then dashes off and reappears in the home square. A different Target and Total will appear at the top of the screen. Press the SPACE bar to continue the game.

When all three painters have had a turn, the scene changes automatically. If two or three painters were successful, you will go up a level. If only one painter succeeded, you stay on the same level, otherwise you will move down a level. Press the SPACE bar to play the next game.


If a painter tries to paint a number which will make his Total less than 0 or bigger than 999, then the game stops and the message "Less than zero" or "Number too big" will appear on the screen. Press the SPACE bar to continue.

When painting a division number, the painter should choose one which divides into the Total exactly. If he doesn't then the game stops and the message "Not a factor" will appear on the screen. Press the SPACE bar to continue.


Be careful! Watch out at higher levels for holes in the girders. If the painter falls into one, his word gets mixed up and the Total changes. Press the SPACE bar to continue.


It is important to plan the painter's work carefully, before he begins to paint. If he wastes time on unnecessary numbers, the bucket will arrive at the top of the screen, crack, then leak and flood the site with paint. Your painter will disappear, never to be seen again... Press the SPACE bar to continue.

To Escape

If you are having difficulties with your game, you can always press the eSCAPE key. This will take you back to the beginning of the program and you can try again.

Self Test

If you decide to play the Self Test, you will have to choose a level first, as you do in the Painter Game. This test is designed to tell you how the Painter Game is improving your mathematics. It gives you a set of ten problems which you have to answer as fast and as accurately as you can. A problem may look like this:

1→+6→-4 =

on Level 1, and

77→+3→-9→4→+3→2 =

on Level 12.

The arrows indicate that the problems have to be worked out from left to right. The first example would be done like this:

1→+6 = 7 then 7→-4 = 3

Type in your answer, then press the RETURN key or the fire button.

The program will tell you if you are correct. If you get it wrong, the words "Wrong try again" appear with a ?. Press the SPACE bar and the correct answer will be filled in. At the end of your test you will be shown how long you took to think out the answers. The space bar symbol will appear. Press it if you would like to do another test.

If you want to go back to the beginning of the program, press the ESCAPE key.