"Wasn't it any good?" I asked the sour-faced child who'd just tried out this software. "It was pants, boring and it didn't make sense" she retorted.
She was not wrong. This package has so many errors, sections of it are all but impossible for its target age group (7-11). It is divided into Lessons, Testing and Administration (a passworded area for the adult to view the child's progress).
These are co-hosted by a comedic skeleton called Seemore Skinless whose speech is modelled on Woody the cowboy doll in "Toy Story". Some children might find him amusing; more sophisticated or older children might well find him irritating.
A female voice-over describes the concepts - apostrophe use, homophones, spelling strategies, etc. - with accompanying visuals and drag-and-drop exercises. This is done very, very slowly. There is a play/pause button which actually functions as a play/stop button, so if you hit it and then restart it, you have to listen to her explanation from the very beginning. Sometimes the point of the exercise is so obvious, her introduction is entirely unnecessary, but she cannot be stopped in order for you to get on with the exercise; you HAVE TO listen to the whole spiel.
You can select which sections of English you want to be tested on out of Spelling, Vocabulary, Phonics, Punctuation, Grammar, Fiction and Non-fiction texts. There is then a mix of test styles (mimicking those in the real SATs) - words that are read to you for you to spell correctly, matching words with their antonyms, contractions or meaning, and true/false questions. There is instant marking - as soon as you've completed a question you are shown the correct answers.