Math Blaster Plus IIGS
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RAM Requirement: 512k RAM
Control: Mouse and Keyboard
Release Status: Abandonware
For Ages: 6 - 12
Publisher: Davidson and Associates
Developers: C.K. Haun
System 6 Compatible: Yes
Hard Drive Installable: Yes
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Davidson's flagship product lives on today, after many various incarnations of the original Math Blaster program that was first released for the 8-bit Apple II.
The IIGS version of Math Blaster Plus! really only sports cosmetic enhancements over the 128k version, with improved graphics and sound, which included speech. Apart from that, there isn't a great deal of difference between both programs - they both feature a mouse driven interface with pull down menus and they can both keep records of students which can be printed.
Math Blaster Plus! supports different ways to presenting math questions - Countdown (where the question and solution is provided, but the student must remember the answer), Ignition (where math problems are given and the final answer is required), Lift Off (where part of the question is missing and the answer is given) and Orbit (which is a mix of questions). Then of course, there's the Blasternaut game, which kids usually get more of a kick out of. Controlling the little Blasternaut guy, you launch rockets at the correct answers using either the keyboard or mouse (the keyboard provides quicker response times).
Between the different methods of asking the questions, you can choose the type of problems between addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions (and a mix of all these) from the 'Subject' menu. And between those, the difficulty can be set from the 'Stage' menu, ensuring kids will stay challenged from the age of 6 to 12.
C.K. Haun, who also developed the Design Master resource editor for the IIGS, as well as a lot of shareware, programmed the IIGS version. I had the chance of just saying hello at Apple HQ during its World Wide Developers Conference in 2001, where C.K. now works.
The program can be installed to a hard drive (it even comes with it's own hard drive installation program, which can also uninstall) and runs beautifully from System 6.