There aren't too many educational programs around for
the ST so it's good to see this one from Microdeal. Perfect Match is
a computerised version of Pelmanism', combining memory training and
knowledge testing in one enjoyable game.
The disk contains 10 sets of 24 questions and answers in different
subject categories, such as science, geography, sport, etc. Three of
them cover biblical subjects, which could put some people off. At
the start of a game you can elect to use a single category or take
items chosen randomly from them all.
The computer then chooses 12 question/answer pairs from the selected
category. A question and its matching answer are on separate cards,
giving 24 cards in all. The computer shuffles these and deals them
face down on the screen. You then have to find and match the
question cards with their corresponding answer cards – and it's not
as easy as it sounds!
One or two players can take part, each taking turns at finding
matching pairs by selecting cards with the mouse. Selected cards
flip over and their text shoots out into windows on the left of the
screen. This reveals a question and an answer, or two questions, or
two answers depending on how skillful (or lucky!) you've been. You
have to say whether the pair match or not, i.e. if it's a question
with its CORRECT answer. It's possible for a question to be
displayed with an incorrect answer, so you have to be careful. This
juxtaposition sometimes produces amusing results, adding a touch of
humour to the game.
Points are scored depending on your answer to the match/no-match
question, with 100, 10 or minus 10 awarded according to how well you
do. After answering, the text zooms back onto the cards and they're
flipped face down again with correctly matched pairs blanked out.
The program has a couple of Help features to make things easier, and
a points penalty can be levied on players using these, if required.
The game is visually pleasing, with neat animation effects as the
cards are dealt and turned over. Sound is adequate, being limited to
card shuffling, dealing and flipping noises, a short fanfare when
you correctly identify a pair and odd bleeps and blurps when you
When tired of the supplied categories you can make your own using
the supplied cardmaker program. This makes it of general educational
interest as you can set questions on any subject at the appropriate
level of difficulty. It's a pity you can't use fewer than 24 cards
or use simple graphical shapes on them, as this would make the
program suitable for young children too.
Overall, I liked Perfect Match. Whether used for educational
purposes or just something different from the usual shoot-em-ups I
think you'll enjoy it too.