Fun School

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Fun School
Fun School Logo.jpg
Fun School Logo
Genres Edutainment
Developers

Database Publications (1984)
Database Educational Software (1989)

Europress Software (1992)
Publishers

Database Publications (1984)
Database Educational Software (1989)

Europress Software (1992)
Creators Derek Meakin
Meash Meakin
Peter Davidson
Platforms 1989-1994:
Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, DOS
1995-1998:
Windows
Platform of origin BBC Micro
First release Fun School 1
1984
Latest release Fun School 7
1998

Fun School is the name of a series of educational packages developed and published in the United Kingdom by Europress Software, initially as Database Educational Software. The original Fun School titles were sold mostly by mail order via off-the-page adverts in the magazines owned by Database Publications. A decision was made to create a new set of programs, call the range Fun School 2, and package them more professionally so they could be sold in computer stores around the UK. Every game comes as a set of three versions, each version set to cater for a specific age range.

Fun School 1[edit]

Fun School 1 is the first set of educational games, created in 1984 by Database Educational Software for the Acorn Electron and BBC Micro computers.[1] The three individual games catered for children aged under 6 years, between 6 and 8 years and over 8 years respectively. They also includes five children's Nursery Rhymes.[2] The products were tested in classrooms and were educationally approved.[3]

Under 5 Years[4] Ages 5–8[5] Over 12 Years[6]
  • Numbers
  • Pelican
  • Counting
  • House
  • Magic Garden
  • Match Maker
  • Seaside
  • Snap
  • Colours
  • Alphabet
  • Derrick
  • Castle
  • Freds Words
  • Hilo
  • Maths Test
  • Mouser
  • Number Signs
  • Seawall
  • Super Spell
  • Balance
  • Anagrams
  • Code Breakers
  • Hangman
  • Dogduckcorn
  • Tower-Hanoi
  • Maths Hike
  • Guessing
  • Odd Man Out
  • Nim
  • Pelmanism

Fun School 2[edit]

Fun School 2 is the second set of educational games, created in 1989 by Database Educational Software. It was released on more computers than its predecessor including Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, DOS and RISC OS. The three individual games catered for children aged under 6 years, between 6 and 8 years and over 8 years respectively.

Fun School 2: Under 6 Years
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 89% (Amstrad CPC)[7]
Your Sinclair 89% (ZX Spectrum)[8]
Amstar 14/20 (Amstrad CPC)[9][10]
Commodore Format 62% (C64)[11]
Fun School 2: Ages 6-8
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 89% (Amstrad CPC)[7]
Your Sinclair 89% (ZX Spectrum)[8]
Commodore Format 60% (C64)[11]
Fun School 2: Over 8 Years
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 89% (Amstrad CPC)[7]
Your Sinclair 89% (ZX Spectrum)[8]
Commodore Format 64% (C64)[11]

The Fun School 2 games were programmed using the STOS (derived from BASIC) programming language[8] with the STOS Compiler Engine.[12]

Fun School 2 was reviewed as "The number one choice for our school" by Shelley Gibson.[13] Fun School 2 was rated 3rd place in the "Gallup full-price software chart".[14] Commodore Force rated Fun School 2 for Under 6 Years as #43, Fun School 2 Ages 6–8 as #36 and Fun School 2 Over 8 Years as number 10 in rankings of the top 100 Commodore 64 games of 1993.[15] Despite its popularity among children, Fun School 2 was criticised by left-wing educationalists due to a competition element and the matter was brought to British MP Kenneth Baker.[16]

Under 6 Years[17] Ages 6–8[18] Over 8 Years[19]
  • Find the Mole
  • Teddy Count
  • Colour Train
  • Pick a Letter
  • Teddy Bears Picnic
  • Shape Snap
  • Spell a word
  • Pick a Letter
  • Number Train
  • Shopping
  • Maths Maze
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Bounce
  • Packing
  • Caterpillar
  • Number Jump
  • Logic Doors
  • Souvenirs
  • Bridge
  • Unicorn Quest
  • Code Boxes
  • Guardians
  • Machine
  • Escape

Fun School 3[edit]

Fun school 3: Under 5 Years
Review scores
Publication Score
Crash 84% (ZX Spectrum)[20]
Amiga CD32 Gamer 80% (Amiga)[21]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
8000 Plus 18/20 (Amstrad PCW)[23]
ST Format 91%(Atari ST)[24]
Fun school 3: Ages 5-7
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 90% (Amstrad CPC)[25]
Crash 86% (ZX Spectrum)[26]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
8000 Plus 4/5 (Amstrad PCW)[27]
ST Format 94%(Atari ST)[24]
Fun school 3: Over 7 Years
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 92% (Amstrad CPC)[28]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
ST Format 90%(Atari ST)[24]

Fun School 3 is the third set of educational games, created in 1990 by Database Educational Software released for the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOS and RISC OS computers. The three individual games catered for children aged under 5 years, between 5 and 7 years and over 7 years respectively. The games and their age ranges took in to full account of the new National Curriculum and the school syllabus content at the time.[29]

The Fun School 3 games were developed using the STOS (derived from BASIC) programming language with the STOS Compiler Engine.[30] For the Amiga version it was converted to AMOS using the AMOS Compiler by William Cochrane and Peter Hickman.[31]

The Amiga version was hosted on the "Commodore 1990 Christmas" talk show along with AMOS 3D.[32] The Amstrad PCW version won the European Computer Leisure Award as "Best Home Education Package" and also got the 8000 Plus Seal of Approval.[33]

Under 5 Years[34] Ages 5–7[35] Over 7 Years[30]
  • Matching
  • Actions
  • Gallery
  • Counting
  • Letters
  • Painting
  • Journey
  • Collect
  • Toyshop
  • Electricity
  • Funtext
  • Time
  • Wordsearch
  • Robot Draw
  • Planet Maths
  • Treasure
  • Database
  • Sentences

Fun School 4[edit]

Fun School 4: Under 5 Years
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 93% (Amstrad CPC)[36]
Crash 86% (ZX Spectrum)[26]
Sinclair User 80% (ZX Spectrum)[37]
Your Sinclair 9/10 (ZX Spectrum)[38]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
CU Amiga 4/5 stars (Amiga)[39]
ST Format 82% (Atari ST)[40]
Commodore Format 75% (C64)[41]
Fun School 4: Ages 5-7
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 93% (Amstrad CPC)[36]
Crash 86% (ZX Spectrum)[26]
Sinclair User 81% (ZX Spectrum)[37]
Your Sinclair 8/10 (ZX Spectrum)[38]
Zzap!64 79% (C64)[42]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
ST Format 82% (Atari ST)[40]
Commodore Format 68% (C64)[41]
Fun School 4: Ages 7-11
Review scores
Publication Score
Amstrad Action 93% (Amstrad CPC)[36]
Crash 85% (ZX Spectrum)[26]
Sinclair User 83% (ZX Spectrum)[37]
Your Sinclair 84% (ZX Spectrum)[43]
Zzap!64 82% (C64)[42]
CPC Attack! 90% (Amstrad CPC)[22]
CU Amiga 4/5 stars (Amiga)[39]
ST Format 82% (Atari ST)[40]
Commodore Format 70% (C64)[41]

Fun School 4 is the fourth set of educational games, created in 1992 by Europress Software (formerly called Database Educational Software) and released on the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, DOS and RISC OS computers. The three individual games catered for children aged under 5 years, between 5 and 7 years and between 7 and 11 years respectively. The content of the games matched the educational material taught in schools of England and Wales in accordance with the National Curriculum.[44]

The Amiga version of the Fun School 4 games were created with the AMOS code using the AMOS Compiler engine.[31]

Under 5 Years[45] Ages 5–7[46] Ages 7–11[47]
  • Addition
  • Teddy Paint
  • Fun Train
  • Teddy's House
  • Teddy's Karaoke
  • Teddy's Books
  • Library
  • Basketball
  • Shopkeeper
  • Log Cabin
  • Opposites
  • Typing
  • Proportions
  • Spy Quiz
  • Exchange Rates
  • Timetable
  • Spy Travels
  • Desert Dates

Fun School Specials[edit]

Fun School Specials is a set of educational games, created in 1993 by Europress Software, consisting of four different games.[48] Upon demand, Europress designed each game specifically with a certain major topic to add depth to spelling, maths, creativity and science, respectively and comply fully with the National Curriculum.[49] Around this time 650,000 Fun School packages had been sold.[50]

Paint and Create[edit]

Paint and Create was released on Commodore 64, Amiga and Windows computers and has an easy interface divided into six activities aimed at younger audiences to do their own artwork.[51] Merlin's Maths teaches mathematics on the topics of counting, decimals, fractions and volumes within six activities.[52]

Paint and Create got good review scores including 91% from Commodore Format[53] and 94% from the CU Amiga magazine.[54] It also got awarded the Screenstar from Amiga Reviews.[55]

Spelling Fair[edit]

Spelling Fair was released on Commodore 64, Amiga and Windows computers.

Merlin's Maths[edit]

Merlin's Maths was released on Amiga and Windows computers.

Young Scientist[edit]

'Young Scientist was created in 1995 and released on CD for Windows and Macintosh to teach science in depth. The game stars the main character Ozzie Otter and has up to forty scientific experiments to try out.

Publication Paint & Create Spelling Fair Merlin's Maths Young Scientist
Commodore Format 91% (C64)[53] 90% (C64)[56]
CU Amiga 94% (Amiga)[54] 84% (Amiga)[54] 79% (Amiga)[54]
Amiga Format 87% (Amiga)[57]
Amiga Joker 18% (Amiga)[58]
Paint & Create
(Ages 5 to 11)
Merlin's Maths
(Ages 7 to 11)
Spelling Fair
(Ages 7 to 13)
Young Scientist
(Ages 5 to 9)
  • Interactive Intro
  • Make a Monster
  • Card Creator
  • Art Alive
  • Jigsaw
  • Music Maestro
  • Crystal Conference
  • Perfect Potions
  • Decisive Data
  • Broken Battlements
  • Magic Machine
  • Weight Weapons
  • Coconut Shy
  • Test Your Strength
  • Mechanical Grab
  • Circus Word
  • Haunted House
  • Word Juggle

Fun School 5[edit]

Fun School 5 is the fifth set of educational games, released in 1995 by Europress Software on Windows. The three individual games catered for children aged between 4 and 7 years, between 6 and 9 years and between 8 and 11 years respectively and had their own specific themes with a goal to complete the game. The games introduced two children, Suki and Rik, and their pet purple dinosaur, Gloopy. The player has to assist Gloopy and the children in solving a number of challenges.

The games were originally planned to be released in 1993 with the age ranges 'Under 5s', '5s to 7s' and '7s to 11s'. However, there was a delay due to the development of the subject-specific Fun School Specials.[59]

Dreamland (Ages 4–7)[60] Space (Ages 6–9)[60] Time (Ages 8–11)[60]
  • Number Town
  • Paint Book
  • Watery Word
  • Music Box
  • Tell Time
  • Blobtastic
  • Get Lost
  • Ecology Factory
  • Taxi
  • Paint It
  • Cave School
  • Farming
  • Maths Maze
  • Roller Coaster
  • Paint

Fun School 6[edit]

Fun School 6 is the sixth set of educational games, created in 1996 by Europress Software released on Windows. The three individual games catered for children aged between 4 and 7 years, between 6 and 9 years and between 8 and 11 years respectively and had their own specific themes but each of the five topics remained in the same category with certain variations related to the age level. The games star Gloopy from Fun School 5, this time a pink dinosaur.[61]

Fairyland (Ages 4–7) Magicland (Ages 6–9) Futureland (Ages 8–11)
  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Music
  • Art
  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Music
  • Art

Fun School 7[edit]

Fun School 7 is the seventh and final set of educational games, created in 1998 by CBL Technology and released on Windows. The three individual games catered for children aged between 4 and 7 years, between 6 and 9 years and between 8 and 11 years respectively. The game makes use of 3D graphics.

Ages 4–7 Ages 6–9 Ages 8–11
  • Get Lost
  • Write On
  • Space Shuffle
  • Head Hunt
  • Trog Eat Trog

Commercial performance[edit]

Before 1989, the educational market was dwindling and the release of "Fun School 2" was an outstanding success. The games sold over 60,000 copies by February[62] and by this time a German Amiga package was developed.[63] By April the games sold over 100,000 copies.[64] During August in 1990, over 150,000 copies had been sold (including 30,000 Amstrad CPC copies).[65] During the development of "Fun School 3" by December, 250,000 copies of the games had been sold.[66]

Before the BBC Micro and DOS versions were released "Fun School 3" had already sold 45,000 copies of other formats.[66] By the time "Fun School 4" was in development, Europress had sold 300,000 copies of its Fun School products[67] and 400,000 copies by April.[68]

By 1992, over 500,000 copies of the Fun School Range products were sold.[69]During the release of "Fun School 6", around 1,500,000 copies of the Fun School Range were sold.[70] When "Fun School 7" was released, 2 million copies of the Fun School Range were sold.[71]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Micro User, Volume 9" (7). The Micro User. September 1991: 89. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Shelley Gibson (September 1989). "Electron User #6.12" (12). Database: 42. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Electron User #3.2" (2). Database. November 1985: 52. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fun School - For Under 5s : CPC-Power". January 26, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fun School - For Under 8s : CPC-Power". January 26, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fun School - For Under 12s : CPC-Power". January 26, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Tim Norris (April 1993). "Amstrad Action Issue 091" (91): 49. Retrieved June 18, 2015. A cracking set of games that will definitely entertain younger children. Little there for older ones though. 
  8. ^ a b c d Linda Barker (December 1992). "Fun School 2 - Your Sinclair" (84). Your Sinclair: 44. Retrieved June 19, 2015. The Fun School series is well worth looking into. In fact, it's a very nearly Megagame. 
  9. ^ "Amstar Issue 42" (42): 115. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Amstar Issue 48" (48). August 1990: 62. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Commodore Format Issue 27" (27). December 1992: 28–29. Retrieved January 18, 2016. Fun School 2 has made it to the budgets. 
  12. ^ Mike Gerrard. "ST Format - Fun School 2" (91). ST Format: 100. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ Shelley Gibson (April 1989). "The Micro User Issue 74" (74). Database Publications: 79–80, 85. Retrieved January 16, 2016. The Number one choice in our school 
  14. ^ "Amiga Format 008" (8). February 1990: 97. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Commodore Force Issue 0051" (5). May 1993: 8. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Games Machine Issue 21" (PDF) (21). August 1989: 8. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ Koen Keevel. "Fun School 2 for Under 6s Manual" (PDF): 4–8. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  18. ^ Koen Keevel. "Fun School 2 for Ages 6-8 Manual" (PDF): 4–8. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  19. ^ Koen Keevel. "Fun School 2 for Over 8 Manual" (PDF): 4–8. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  20. ^ Mark Caswell (February 1991). "Crash Issue 085" (85): 30. Retrieved July 27, 2015. I'd recommend the Fun School range of games to anyone. 
  21. ^ Dino Boni (October 1995). "Amiga CD32 Issue 017" (17): 22. Retrieved June 22, 2015. You cannot criticise the programmes in any way, simply because they have already won numerous awards. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f "CPC Attack Issue 04" (4). September 1992: 22. Retrieved July 21, 2015. I'm sure these will be very popular in schools and even at home. 
  23. ^ Sophie Lankenau (December 1990). "8000 Plus - Issue 51" (51): 44. Retrieved July 31, 2015. To captivate and keep the interest of the very young is the task tackled by the authors of Fun School 3 - and the results are impressive. 
  24. ^ a b c David Jones (October 1990). "ST Format - Issue 15" (15): 143–144, 146. Retrieved August 12, 2015. It may sound like the name of a third-rate pop band, but it's got the best pedigree in the business. 
  25. ^ Frank O'Connor (August 1991). "Amstrad Action Issue 071" (71): 52. Retrieved July 21, 2015. Fun School 3 is years ahead of the competition and makes other educational packages look rather limp. 
  26. ^ a b c d "Crash Issue 096" (96). February 1992: 19. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ Tim Smith (June 1991). "8000 Plus - Issue 57" (57): 60. Retrieved June 22, 2015. For once, we have no hesitation in recommending this piece of software. 
  28. ^ Frank O'Connor (September 1991). "Amstrad Action Issue 072" (72): 69. Retrieved June 22, 2015. Wonderfully presented, a joy to use and a great deal of fun too. 
  29. ^ Koen Keevel (1990). "Fun School 3: Notes for Parents and Teachers" (PDF): 24. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Koen Keevel (1990). "Fun School 3 for Over 7s Manual" (PDF): 2, 44. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b Dave Golder (January 1992). "Amiga Computing Issue 044" (44): 14. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Amiga Computing Issue 031" (31). December 1990: 74. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  33. ^ "8000 Plus - Fun School 3 Seal of Approval" (57). June 1991: 5. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Fun School 3 for Under 5s Manual". 1990: 16. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Fun School 3 for 5 to 7 Years Manual". 1990: 16. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b c "Amstrad Action Issue 079" (79). April 1992: 21. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  37. ^ a b c "Sinclair Issue 128" (128). October 1992: 21. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  38. ^ a b Dave Golder (February 1992). "Your Sinclair Issue 074" (74): 53. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "CU Amiga Issue 32" (32). January 1992: 155–157. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  40. ^ a b c "ST Format Issue 46" (46). May 1993: 96. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  41. ^ a b c "Commodore Format Issue 19" (19). April 1992: 62–63. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  42. ^ a b "Zzap!64 Issue 082" (82). March 1992: 64. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  43. ^ Linda Barker (March 1992). "Your Sinclair Issue 075" (75): 19. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Fun School 4: Fun School 4 and the National Curriculum". 1992: 14. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Fun School 4 for Under 5 Years Manual". 1992: 4–11. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Fun School 4 Ages 5 to 7 Manual". 1992: 4–15. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Fun School 4 Ages 7 to 11 Manual". 1992: 5–16. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  48. ^ Europress (November 4, 1996). "Fun School Specials - Official Site". Archived from the original on November 4, 1996. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  49. ^ "CU Amiga Issue 036: Specials Introduction" (36). February 1993: 72. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  50. ^ Fun School Spelling Box Art
  51. ^ Mike Bibby (November 1992). "Amiga Computing 054" (PDF) (54): 71. Retrieved July 26, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Amiga Computing 054" (PDF) (54). November 1992: 12. Retrieved July 26, 2015. 
  53. ^ a b "Commodore Format Issue 028" (28). January 1993: 64. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  54. ^ a b c d "CU Amiga Issue 036: Reviews" (36). February 1993: 110–111. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Fun School Special: Paint And Create - Amiga Reviews". Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Commodore Format Issue 030" (30). March 1993: 62. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  57. ^ Neil Jackson (November 1992). "Amiga Format 040" (40): 168. Retrieved July 26, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Amiga Joker 001" (1). January 1993: 74. Retrieved July 26, 2015. 
  59. ^ "PC Review Issue 009" (9). July 1992: 10. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  60. ^ a b c "Fun School 5 - Official Site". November 4, 1996. Archived from the original on November 4, 1996. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  61. ^ "About Fun School 6". March 4, 2000. Archived from the original on March 4, 2000. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  62. ^ "The Games Machine Issue 027" (27). February 1990: 13. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  63. ^ "Amiga Computing 021" (21). February 1990: 9. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  64. ^ "Amstrad Action Issue 055" (55). April 1990: 19. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  65. ^ "Amstrad Action Issue 059" (59). August 1990: 7. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  66. ^ a b Frank O'Connor (March 1991). "Amstrad Action Issue 066" (66): 32–33. Retrieved January 17, 2016. Fun School 3 actually makes it a pleasure, for both child and parent. 
  67. ^ "CU Amiga - Upcoming Fun School 4" (18). August 1991: 13. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  68. ^ "CU Amiga Issue 014" (14). April 1991: 9. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  69. ^ Chris Payne (2006). "Dissolve Mental Shackles" (PDF): 18. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  70. ^ "Fun School 6 Cover". Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  71. ^ "Fun School 7: Ages 8-11 Cover". Retrieved December 15, 2016. 

External links[edit]