Perfect Match

Reviewed by John S Davison


Issue 31

Jan/Feb 88

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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 don't.

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.