Alpha Beam with Ernie
CHILDREN'S COMPUTER WORKSHOP
AN ACTIVITY OF CHILDREN'S TELEVISION WORKSHOP
ALPHA BEAM WITH ERNIE
FOR CHILDREN AGES 3-7
ATARI AND CHILDREN'S COMPUTER WORKSHOP PRESENT:
Educational games featuring the lovable Sesame Street Muppets
and other wonderful, whimsical characters. The creators of
Sesame Street, Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact have
teamed up with the creators of the world's most popular
ATARI/CCW games are designed by writers, artists, programmers,
psychologists, and lots of kids!
One Part Creative Magic
One Part Technical Wizardry
One Part Educational Know-How
Dynamic, Child-Appropriate Video Games!
ATARI/CCW Video Games Provide:
* Family Play
* Continuous Challenge
* Long-Term Play
* Nonviolent Play
* Opportunity for Cooperative Play, Individual Play, and
* Appeal to Both Girls and Boys This Video Game Product
was developed by ATARI,
INC. and the CHILDREN'S COMPUTER WORKSHOP
(c) 1983 ATARI, INC. All Rights Reserved
(c) 1983 CHILDREN'S COMPUTER WORKSHOP, INC. All Rights Reserved
Muppet Characters (c) 1983 MUPPETS, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Featuring the JIM HENSON(tm) SESAME STREET(tm)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
* NOTE TO PARENTS
* SETTING UP
* A READ-ALOUD STORY
* GAME PLAY
* MORE ALPHABET FUN
* GAME MATRIX
* NOTE TO PARENTS
The ALPHA BEAM game provides children with an exciting outer space setting
in which they can practice important pre-reading skills such as:
[ A A ] 1) Matching identical letters.
[ D d ] 2) Matching upper case letters with their corresponding lower
[ m n ] 3) Discriminating between confusing letters.
ALPHA BEAM is unique in that it includes opportunities
for cooperation. When you play ALPHA BEAM with your
child you can foster cooperative play by talking to
him or her. As you play, say things like, "Which letter
should we pick up first?" and, "Where should we put the
letter A?" Encourage your child to talk about the game also.
* SETTING UP
HOW TO USE YOUR ATARI KID'S CONTROLLER
Use your ATARI KID'S CONTROLLERS to play ALPHA
For a one-player game, plug an ATARI KID'S
CONTROLLER into the LEFT cont-
roller jack at the back of your ATARI 2600 console. (See Figure 1.) For a
two-player game, the player who operates the top shuttle uses a controller
plugged into the LEFT jack and the player who maneuvers the bottom shuttle
uses a controller plugged into the RIGHT jack.
You will find two keypad overlays included with
this cartridge. These
colorful overlays will help your children select and use appropriate buttons.
Slip the overlay tabs into the slots at the top and bottom of your ATARI
NOTE: Always turn the console POWER switch OFF
before inserting or
removing an ATARI Game Program Program cartridge. This will protect the
electronic components and prolong the life of your ATARI
2600 Video Computer System console.
HOW TO USE THE ATARI 2600 CONSOLE CONTROL SWITCHES
POWER ON/OFF SWITCH
After you have inserted the Game Program
cartridge, press the POWER ON/OFF
switch to ON.
GAME SELECT SWITCH
ALPHA BEAM contains 12 exciting game levels. Each
level is more challenging
than the previous level. Find the game number you want to play
in the GAME MATRIX on the back cover. Press the GAME SELECT
switch until the game number appears at the lower left of
the television screen. (See Figure 3.) The number on the right
indicates the number of players for that game. For a detailed
description of each game, see GAME PLAY.
GAME RESET SWITCH
After you have chosen the game level you want to
play, press GAME RESET
to begin the game. You can also press GAME RESET during
game play to start the game over.
RIGHT and LEFT DIFFICULTY switches are not used in
TV TYPE SWITCH
Set the TV TYPE switch to COLOR to play the game
on a color TV. Set this switch to B/W to play on a
black and white TV.
* A READ-ALOUD STORY
ERNIE THE ASTRONAUT
"Space is terrific," said Ernie the astronaut as
he flew his rocket ship
past the beautiful ringed-planet Saturn. "But I'm
really getting homesick and I miss my old buddy Bert.
I think I'll turn around and start for home. I'd better
take a look at my trusty space map first so I won't get lost."
But as Ernie unfolded the map, his glance fell
upon the fuel gauge of his rocket ship.
"Uh oh! I'm almost out of fuel!" Ernie began to
worry. "I hope I can make it to the next refueling
station in time." Just as his ship coasted to a stop,
Ernie spotted the Alpha Beam Fuel Station. He put on
his space suit and got into his space shuttle to go
collect the fuel for his rocket.
"Boy am I lucky," he said. "I just made it!"
First, Ernie flew his shuttle over his rocket fuel
bays to see what kind of fuel he needed. Then, he
flew to the fuel station and carefully selected the
right tank for each fuel bay on his ship.
"The `A' fuel tank goes in the `A' docking bay, the `B'
fuel tank goes in the `B' docking bay, and so on," said
Ernie. "If you're planning to fly a rocket ship through
outer space, you've got to know your ABC's!" Ernie knew
he had to fill up the fuel bays as quickly as possible
because, according to his automatic countdown clock, his
ship was set to blast off
in a few seconds.
"Nine...eight..." ticked the clock. (Ernie loaded
the first fuel tank.) "Seven...six...five...four..."
(The `B' and `C' tanks were loaded.)
"Am I loading the fuel correctly?" Ernie wondered.
"Will my ship make it
all the way back to earth?" "Three...two..."
(Ernie loaded the last tank and
jumped aboard his rocket just as the fuel bays closed.)
"One! Blast off!" The great rocket ship headed towards Earth.
"I sure hope I make it," said Ernie. "I really miss my old
buddy Bert!" "Ernie began to feel better as he passed Saturn
again and saw Jupiter straight ahead. "If I can just get to
Mars," he thought. "Earth is only one stop away." But Ernie's
ship started to slow down. He looked at the control panel and
saw that his fuel indicator was nearing the empty mark again.
"Oh no!" he groaned. "I'm running out of fuel. Now
I'll never make it all
the way home. I'll never see my buddy Bert again!"
"What do you mean, Ernie?" asked Bert. "Of course
you'll see me again.
I'm just going to the kitchen to make oatmeal for breakfast."
Ernie opened his eyes and realized that he was
safe in his own room. His
toy rocket had fallen off his bed and was lying on the floor.
"Boy did I ever have a crazy dream, Bert!" laughed
Ernie with relief.
"You'll never believe it, not in a million light-years!"
* GAME PLAY
NOW PLAY ALPHA BEAM...HERE'S HOW:
Oh no! Ernie's rocket ship is out of gas! Help
Ernie get home by filling
up his rocket and making it blast off!
OBJECT OF THE GAME:
Beam the lettered fuel tanks that are floating in
space into the docking bays
of Ernie's rocket ship.
GET READY TO PLAY:
Follow the directions in SETTING UP to plus in the
KID'S CONTROLLER, to use
the keypad overlay, and to select a game level.
To move your space shuttle left, press the arrow
that points left on your
keypad overlay. ( 4 key )
To move your space shuttle right, press the arrow
that points right on your
keypad overlay. ( 6 key )
BEAM LETTER TO SHUTTLE
If you control the top shuttle, move your shuttle
directly under a letter
and press the beam button on your overlay that points up. ( 2 key )
If you control the bottom shuttle, move your
shuttle directly over a letter
and press the beam button on your overlay that points down. ( 8 key )
BEAM LETTER FROM SHUTTLE TO ROCKET
To beam a letter from the top shuttle into the
rocket, move your shuttle over
a fuel bay and press the beam button that points down.
To beam a letter from the bottom shuttle into the
rocket, move your shuttle
under a fuel bay and press the beam button that points up.
As your child learns to maneuver the shuttlecraft,
you may want to give him
or her some step-by-step guidance. Try saying:
* "First move your shuttle to the letter."
* "Next, beam the letter onto the shuttle."
* "Next, move to the docking bay."|
* "Now, beam the letter onto the rocket ship."
ALPHA BEAM contains 12 levels of game play. Games
1 and 2 are for one player
only, while Games 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11 have one-player and two-player
versions. Games 6, 7, 8, and 12 are two-player games only. Remember, when
pressing GAME SELECT, the numeral on the lower left of the screen indicates
game number while the numeral on the lower right indicates player number.
Below are detailed descriptions of each game level. For quick reference,
use the GAME MATRIX on the back cover.
GAMES 1 AND 2: PRACTICE GAMES
Practice beaming letters onto your shuttlecraft
and then into the rocket
fuel bays. When you want to pick up fuel, press the right or left arrow
on your keypad overlay. Your shuttle will automatically center under the
nearest fuel tank. When you are ready to load the fuel on the rocket, press
the right or left arrow to automatically center your shuttle over the
closest fuel bay. The letters on the fuel tanks and the rocket side are
all the same letter. Game 1 uses all upper case letters while Game 2 uses
all lower case letters. Take as much time as you want. Each time you fill
up Ernie's rocket, it blasts off toward Earth. Welcome home! Had enough
practice? Now try a more challenging game.
In practice games, young children might need some
help getting started.
Say to your child, "Point to the letter you want to pick up and show me
which way (left or right) you want to move to get it." This is also a
good opportunity to talk about the names of the letters on the screen.
GAMES 3, 4, and 5
Match the letters in the sky with those on the
side of the rocket. The four
letters on the side of the rocket are in alphabetical order while the four
lettered tanks in the sky are scrambled. When you beam the correct letters
from the sky into the rocket bays, you will be putting them in proper
You must carefully center your shuttle under and
over the letters and rocket
bays. If you try to beam a letter into a bay where it doesn't match, it|
won't go in and you'll hear a loud buzz.
All the letters in Game 3 are in upper case, and
all letters in Game 4 are
lower case. In Game 5 all the letters on the side of the ship are lower
case while the letters in the sky are upper case. Each time you fuel up
Ernie's ship, it blasts off for home. What a blast!
GAMES 6, 7, and 8
Now you and your partner must work together to put
the same letter pairs
in the top and bottom fuel bays of the rocket. (See Figure 4.) There are
no letters printed on the rocket side so you decide which letters go where.
Once a letter is beamed into a bay, the matching letter will only go into
the adjoining bay. As soon as you fuel up the ship, it blasts off and you
fly all the way home!
Game 6 uses all upper case letters and Game 7 uses
all lower case letters.
In Game 8, the player operating the top shuttle selects from upper case
letters, while the player operating the bottom shuttle selects from lower
Match upper case letters in the sky with lower
case letters on the ship
before the countdown reaches one.
Game 9 is a timed game. See the number in the
window of the rocket nose?
(See Figure 5.) This is your countdown timer. You must fuel up Ernie's
rocket as the countdown goes from nine to one. When the countdown reaches
one, the rocket doors close, and the rocket blasts off.
You get as far as Saturn if each player docks one
tank in the right bay.
if each player docks two tanks correctly, you get to Jupiter. You'll
reach Mars if each player puts three tanks in the right bays. And you'll
fly all the way to home sweet planet Earth if all four tanks are correctly
placed! Welcome home Ernie! (See Figure 6.)
GAMES 10 and 11
Now each player must choose among five letter d
tanks in the sky to match
four lettered bays in the rocket.
Don't be surprised if the letters in the sky do
not match the letters on the
rocket. Each time you beam a letter from the sky it is replaced by the next
letter in the alphabet. For example, beam a "K" onto your shuttle and it is
replaced by an "L" in the sky; beam that"L" onto your shuttle and it's
replaced by an "M." When you take the letter "Z" it is replaced by an "A."
If you don't want to keep a letter that you beam onto your shuttle, simply
beam another letter aboard your shuttle and the one you don't want will
disappear into the air! You can beam through as many letters as you like
this way until you have the letter you need to fill in the rocket bay.
All letters in Game 10 are upper case; all letters
in Game 11 are lower
case. You have more time to dock your letters in Game 10 than in Game 11.
In both games, the countdown starts at nine, and when it reaches one, your
ship blasts off! How far will you get? As in Game 9, that depends upon
how many fuel bays you filled correctly.
You may want to talk about the concept of
alphabetical order with your child.
Encourage him or her to think about each letter on the screen and ask,
"What letter comes next in the alphabet?"
You and a partner beam matching letters into pairs
of adjoining rocket bays.
All upper case letters float above the rocket, while all lower case letters
float below it. When you take a letter from the sky, it is replaced by the
next letter of the alphabet. So, although you and your partner may not start
out with matching letters, you can work together to create letter pairs by
replacing letters in the sky until you make a match. The clock on the
rocket ship will give you a quick countdown, so work fast and see how far
you can make that rocket go when it blasts off!
GAME 12: SUPERCHALLENGE
When you've mastered matching letters randomly,
try a more challenging game.
See how fast you and your partner can spell these words together:
HOME BERT STAR SHIP FAST DOCK
MOON MARS ZOOM BEAM FUEL GAME
You can also make your own list of words with four
letters or ask your
parent or friend to make one for you.
* MORE ALPHABET FUN
1. SPACE STATION XYZ
Jumping Jupiter! There are lots of letters at the
Alpha Beam fuel
station. Can you find all the letters?
2. THE SHUTTLE FLEET
Look! There are five shuttles in the fleet. Four
shuttles are the
same. Which one is different?
3. WHICH LETTER DOESN'T BELONG?
In each picture there are four fuel tanks. Three
of the fuel tanks
have the same letter. One doesn't. Point to the letter in each
picture that doesn't belong.
4. OUTER SPACE BUDDIES
Ernie made a friend in outer space. Draw a picture
of his new friend.
Color the picture.
5. FUEL IT UP!
Ernie's rocket ship needs fuel fast! You can help.
Draw a line from
each letter on the spaceship to the letter it matches in space.
Games 1 & 2: One-Player Games
Games 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, & 11: One-Player &
Games 6, 7, 8, & 12: Two-Player Cooperative Games