A healthy diet of football

10th October 2003 at 01:00
Gillian Blatherwick looks a game designed to get children thinking about food and fitness

IT'S YOUR GOAL CD-Rom

pound;75 for a single user, pound;15 for additional CD-Roms and pound;250 for a full-site licence (all excluding VAT), from Indigo MultimediaTel: 0191 209 2100 www.itsyourgoal.co.uk

This wittily named CD-Rom is an adventure-style game created by Newcastle-based Indigo Multimedia that is designed to lure couch potatoes into a spooky, adventure to rescue their favourite soccer star from a spell-induced life of lethargy and lassitude.

Set in a fun context, it provides a tongue-in-cheek challenge of rescuing the footballer from the scourge of poor food and inadequate exercise.

Guided and quizzed by a "digital assistant" called PeeJay, players navigate through six activity areas, starting in the bedroom and moving through the cafeteria, gym, video and research zones until facing the final make or break showdown.

Throughout the game players are presented with a series of challenges related to promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. They use their growing knowledge and skill to bring their footballing hero back to match fitness, thwarting the efforts of the football-hating (Welsh) wizard.

Although the CD-Rom contains vast amounts of relevant information, some of the scene setting elements are long winded. Users can quit part way through and resume the game at a later stage, but it would be useful for players to be able to skip, say, the bedroom zone and move on to healthy eating. The research zone includes information for teachers, extra games and links to online activities and websites. The video zone even demonstrates how to bake bread. The text is narrated throughout, mainly using a standard robotic speech engine. However, the voice of the commentator Harry Plater is provided by Jonathan Pearce, a presenter of the television programme Robot Wars.

It's Your Goal is pricey, but it's certainly a slick and well presented title that is educationally well founded. The sound, video and graphics are of an excellent quality and the context is appealing to KS2 pupils.

Gillian Blatherwick is deputy head at Rushey Mead Primary School, Leicester

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