Paint Pot 2 logo

Kids' Academy £19.99

Dragged kicking and screaming from the sand pit, Steve Prizeman looks at the current state of educational software.

As an art package aimed specifically at children, Paint Pot 2 may be seen as falling midway between the drawing elements of The Shoe People and more sophisticated art programs, like Deluxe Paint. Unfortunately, its price and comparatively limited range of functions prevent it from being an adequate competitor for either.

Aimed at four to ten year-olds, Paint Pot 2 allows the user to draw pictures freehand, and take the short cuts offered by line, box, circle and ellipse drawing tools.

Paint Pot 2 is, in fact, as much a colouring-in program as a drawing one - it comes with about 20 line drawings ready for loading and filling-in. The colouring is an easy process thanks to the fill tool which is also available.

A total of 16 colours may be used to construct any particular painting, and the tones of each may be varied, allowing the potential for a far large number of colours to be used (although still no more than 16 for each drawing, of course). The pictures can also be saved and printed.

The main tune and sound effects are competent and the presentation is appealing, but this program's only real plus is its ease of use. Apart from that it has less to offer than other programs for kids.

If your child has any even vaguely serious intentions of drawing on a computer, you would be better off buying DPaint I or II and spending half an hour explaining the main points to them.