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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: School gaming from days gone by
 

School gaming from days gone by

Posted by Andrew Poole on 17:00, 18/2/2007 | , , ,
 
RetroIt seems such a long time ago that Acorn had their computers in most UK schools and even longer ago that I was sitting in a classroom playing games on the BBC Masters that the school had bought. Several games stand out in my memory and these include (in no particular order): Yellow Brick Road, Little Red Riding Hood and the one that I'm sure most of you who used school computers in the late 80s will remember, Granny's Garden.
 
In this, the first of a series of articles, we'll be taking a look back at Yellow Brick Road.

 
Title screen

Yellow Brick Road

Released by MEP North in 1985, Yellow Brick Road is, as the title suggests, based around the story of the Wizard of Oz. The game takes the form of an adventure and is in three parts which are cunningly titled Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
 
The game starts by asking you if you would like to help Dorothy and Toto get to the Great Oz's castle to help them get home. If you say "No", Dorothy gets upset and tells you that "That's not very nice". Saying "Yes" gets you a "Thank you very much" instead, and the adventure begins.
 
SignpostYou start your adventure by a signpost and you must collect the objects you need to help the people you see along your way. Items such as the red shoes are useful later in the game and could lead you into trouble if you don't pick them up whilst you're here. You get yourself around by choosing an option from the numbered list and make your way around the Ditch, Forest, Garage, Bridge, Stile, Cornfield and Signpost, meeting the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Lion along the way, before crossing the ditch into the Land of Oz. At this point, you're told to call your teacher. I didn't have a teacher watching me, so I pressed "t" to bring up the teacher's menu and take myself to Part 2 of the adventure.
 
Part 2 begins with a quick question to help the Tin Woodman chop down a tree to cross the river. You're given a letter to take with you (be sure to write these down, as I didn't on my first time round and had to do it all again so I could guess the word later on!). At this point, it helps if you know your trees and plants. After you've crossed the river with your tree knowledge, you enter a field of poppies, where you have to answer 10 sums before all the petals fall off the three poppies on the screen (a total of 9 petals). Once you've done that, you have a code to break. It's a fairly simple code. Each letter of the alphabet has a number from 1 to 26. A being 1, B is 2 and so on.
 
StepsPart 2 ends with a set of steps, where you are asked to make words from the letters on the steps. This rewards you with the final letter you need to make up the password. Once you enter the password, the mighty Wizard of Oz appears and tells you to call your teacher once more to set you on your way to Part 3 of the adventure.
 
Part 3 starts with putting sentences into the right order, for example "Dorothy want home I am to am I go" becomes "I am Dorothy and I want to go home". Once you've put the four sentences in the right order, the Wizard tells you to go and kill the Wicked Witch of the West (try and get away with killing in schools these days!). You set off along the Great Path of Oz in which you must travel down each road once and once only to get to the castle. This is simple enough, but the Witch has of course set a few traps for you, which involve some mini games.
 
Horay!When you arrive at the Witch's castle, she sets the Scarecrow on fire. - How rude. - You can put the Scarecrow out by finding the magic word in the word search and with that the Witch is dead. Hurrah! And finally, Dorothy can go home to Kansas, the Scarecrow has some brains, the Tin Woodman has a heart and the Lion has some courage. Poor Toto doesn't get anything. You are asked to call your teacher and the adventure ends here.

Screenshots

Click on any of the screenshots to see a larger version of it.

Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road Yellow Brick Road
 
Yellow Brick Road

 
  School gaming from days gone by
  nunfetishist (00:41 19/2/2007)
  Phlamethrower (00:45 19/2/2007)
    monkeyson2 (01:08 19/2/2007)
      blasts of the xtre (08:07 19/2/2007)
        andypoole (09:50 19/2/2007)
          blasts of the xtre (10:03 19/2/2007)
    cjr43 (13:06 19/2/2007)
    Stoppers (16:08 19/2/2007)
      mavhc (19:27 20/2/2007)
        adamlloyd (19:50 20/2/2007)
          nunfetishist (19:55 20/2/2007)
            andypoole (21:41 20/2/2007)
              MikeCarter (09:51 21/2/2007)
                nunfetishist (17:40 21/2/2007)
                  adamlloyd (11:43 3/3/2007)
  trevj (10:01 14/4/2010)
    filecore (17:40 14/4/2010)
    CJE (16:09 15/4/2010)
      VincceH (16:14 15/4/2010)
      filecore (19:54 15/4/2010)
      moss (22:48 15/4/2010)
        moss (22:48 15/4/2010)
          filecore (07:59 16/4/2010)
          trevj (08:09 16/4/2010)
  gazza_fp (10:45 14/4/2010)
    castlevarich (17:20 15/4/2010)
      trevj (18:18 15/4/2010)
      trevj (07:49 20/4/2010)
  trevj (08:39 12/5/2010)
 
Rob Kendrick Message #98802, posted by nunfetishist at 00:41, 19/2/2007
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
OMG. IT BURNS MY EYES. That looks diabolically shit, even for 1985.

Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #98803, posted by Phlamethrower at 00:45, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98802
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15055
OMG. IT BURNS MY EYES. That looks diabolically shit, even for 1985.
And that looks like it's running on an emulator with a tarted up Mode 7 font

[edit]

Also, I think someone needs to teach them the difference between rotation and reflection (Assuming we're meant to be guessing the letter on the tin man's chest).

http://www.iconbar.com/news/oldschool/yellowbrickroad/ybr22.gif

*insert observational comment about how the number of idiot celebrities/crap drivers/binge drinkers/etc. has risen since the release of this 'educational' program*

[Edited by Phlamethrower at 01:03, 19/2/2007]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #98804, posted by monkeyson2 at 01:08, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98803
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
http://www.iconbar.com/news/oldschool/yellowbrickroad/ybr3.gif

Teaching punctuation, there.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Sion Message #98806, posted by blasts of the xtre at 08:07, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98804
blasts of the xtre
Suppose you were an idiot. Suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Posts: 326
Ah, Grannie's Garden. Now that brings back some memories. It should still be on my A5000...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Poole Message #98807, posted by andypoole at 09:50, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98806

Posts: 5552
Ah, Grannie's Garden. Now that brings back some memories. It should still be on my A5000...
A5000? Peh! You need the BBC version
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Sion Message #98808, posted by blasts of the xtre at 10:03, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98807
blasts of the xtre
Suppose you were an idiot. Suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Posts: 326
Bah! Hiss!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Rayson Message #98822, posted by cjr43 at 13:06, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98803
Member
Posts: 3
I think someone needs to teach them the difference between rotation and reflection (Assuming we're meant to be guessing the letter on the tin man's chest).
Mirror at 45° to vertical (kind of like /)?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon Willcocks Message #98840, posted by Stoppers at 16:08, 19/2/2007, in reply to message #98803
Member
Posts: 278
Also, I think someone needs to teach them the difference between rotation and reflection (Assuming we're meant to be guessing the letter on the tin man's chest).
Clearly, the reflection is in a mirror placed at an angle of 45 degrees.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Mark Scholes Message #98886, posted by mavhc at 19:27, 20/2/2007, in reply to message #98840
Member
Posts: 660
Don't they teach people anything in school these days?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Adam Lloyd Message #98887, posted by adamlloyd at 19:50, 20/2/2007, in reply to message #98886
Member
Posts: 155
Don't they teach people anything in school these days?
yes they teach you why you should hate Windows but stioll use it because Dell don't do Macs and they can't order Linux PCs because they can't order off the internetl. From a little Welsh scool in Swansea.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #98888, posted by nunfetishist at 19:55, 20/2/2007, in reply to message #98887
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
yes they teach you why you should hate Windows but stioll use it because Dell don't do Macs and they can't order Linux PCs because they can't order off the internetl. From a little Welsh scool in Swansea.
EPARSE.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Poole Message #98890, posted by andypoole at 21:41, 20/2/2007, in reply to message #98888

Posts: 5552
yes they teach you why you should hate Windows but stioll use it because Dell don't do Macs and they can't order Linux PCs because they can't order off the internetl. From a little Welsh scool in Swansea.
EPARSE.

I think that shows they don't teach Grammar
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Mike Message #98900, posted by MikeCarter at 09:51, 21/2/2007, in reply to message #98890
MikeCarter

Posts: 401
Don't they teach people anything in school these days?
yes they teach you why you should hate Windows but stioll use it because Dell don't do Macs and they can't order Linux PCs because they can't order off the internetl. From a little Welsh scool in Swansea.
Install it yourself...

Also take up a Grammar for beginners course.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #98915, posted by nunfetishist at 17:40, 21/2/2007, in reply to message #98900
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
Also take up a Grammar for beginners course.
Grammar in this context is not a proper noun, and as such should not be spelt with an upper-case first letter unless it is the first word in the sentence. :-p
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Adam Lloyd Message #99394, posted by adamlloyd at 11:43, 3/3/2007, in reply to message #98915
Member
Posts: 155
Also take up a Grammar for beginners course.
Grammar in this context is not a proper noun, and as such should not be spelt with an upper-case first letter unless it is the first word in the sentence. :-p
As I have heard in school many times "hes done huw mosh".
I think that shows they don't teach Grammar
Bah! Hiss!

[Edited by adamlloyd at 11:48, 3/3/2007]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #113965, posted by trevj at 10:01, 14/4/2010, in reply to message #98802
Member
Posts: 660
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
Well, you may have just missed out on a real bargain!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Gary Hughes Message #113967, posted by gazza_fp at 10:45, 14/4/2010, in reply to message #98802
Member
Posts: 22
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
I've just spent the last term teaching a problem solving class to some upper primary students (I normally teach secondary maths so this was an interesting experience) and their favourite activity was using BeebEm ("no, you can't use the mouse") to run L.

I should point out that this was not because all the other activities were boring (they were engaged in all of the activities), but they were really determined to solve it.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #113970, posted by filecore at 17:40, 14/4/2010, in reply to message #113965

Posts: 3867
Well, you may have just missed out on a real bargain!
Fifty-six quid and counting? Wow. I wonder what my original copy of the Doom trilogy* would fetch.

* yes, I'm referring to the classic text adventure games for the BBC Micro and later RISC OS, rather than the bloodbath Wintel FPS games which later took the same name.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Evans Message #113978, posted by CJE at 16:09, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113965
CJE Micros chap
Posts: 198
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
Well, you may have just missed out on a !
What is L?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #113980, posted by VincceH at 16:14, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113978
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
What is L?
For me, living in a world where everyone uses text speak. tongue

COAT!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jon Robinson Message #113981, posted by castlevarich at 17:20, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113967
Member
Posts: 54
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
I've just spent the last term teaching a problem solving class to some upper primary students (I normally teach secondary maths so this was an interesting experience) and their favourite activity was using BeebEm ("no, you can't use the mouse") to run L.

I should point out that this was not because all the other activities were boring (they were engaged in all of the activities), but they were really determined to solve it.
================================
If anybody reading this is still managing to use RISC OS in education, either natively or under emulation, despite the best efforts of the Dept of Education to persuade you otherwise, would you please leave a message in this forum telling us what you're up to.

Apart from satisfying my curiousity, I'm hoping to be able to release an upgraded version of a program which is very useful educationally, if you've got the patience to create resources for it.

Incidentally, is the L mentioned above, Little Red Riding Hood ?????

Jon Robinson (Leeds)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #113982, posted by trevj at 18:18, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113981
Member
Posts: 660
If anybody reading this is still managing to use RISC OS in education...
I should be able to point you to an amusing link early next week! (Mum's the word.)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #113983, posted by filecore at 19:54, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113978

Posts: 3867
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
Well, you may have just missed out on a !
What is L?
Classically, L is other people.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #113984, posted by moss at 22:48, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113978

Posts: 9346
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
Well, you may have just missed out on a !
What is L?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L__A_Mathemagical_Adventure
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #113985, posted by moss at 22:48, 15/4/2010, in reply to message #113984

Posts: 9346
...and I've just discovered another bug in TIB's comments system tongue
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #113988, posted by filecore at 07:59, 16/4/2010, in reply to message #113985

Posts: 3867
Can you get them to fix the one where it won't parse URLs containing more than one "HTTP" (eg, links to mirrored sites in the Wayback Machine?). That's always bugged me.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #113989, posted by trevj at 08:09, 16/4/2010, in reply to message #113985
Member
Posts: 660
In the mean time a TinyURL for L A Mathemagical Adventure will have to do.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #114015, posted by trevj at 07:49, 20/4/2010, in reply to message #113981
Member
Posts: 660
A recent poll of education IT professionals has revealed that
5 out of 7 voters miss RISC OS. And 2 out of 7 miss BBC micros. (Yes, I resisted the temptation to vote myself. The poll was open for 10 weeks.)
More precisely, 5 of the 7 total voters!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #114419, posted by trevj at 08:39, 12/5/2010, in reply to message #98802
Member
Posts: 660
Give me Granny's Garden or L any day.
Original tape version recently fetched over £8.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: School gaming from days gone by