[ Retro Scan ] Bentley Bear’s Spelling Bee

July 17th, 2017 by Benj Edwards

Atari Scholastic Series Spelling Bee a Bentley Bear At-Home Tutor Crystal Castles Educational Software Atari ST Atari Mega and ST box packaging scan - 1988“Follow me, KIDS! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

I recently visited fellow NC computer collector Tom Copper (hopefully the subject of a future post), and Tom gave me this neat and rare piece of educational software for the Atari ST series. It’s called Spelling Bee, and it features Bentley Bear of Crystal Castles fame.

Apparently, Atari made a series of educational games starring Bentley Bear. Sadly, this particular game is not that great. It’s just a simple version of Hangman that, in my opinion, does not aid spelling skills at all. I have two kids — ages 7 and 4, and my eldest gets to play all the older educational software I can find. She gave this product a thumbs down. So do I. But it sure is a neat piece of computing history.

(P.S. If you’re interested in an overview of great educational games of the past, check out this slideshow I did for PCWorld back in 2015).

[ From Scholastic Series Spelling Bee by Atari, 1988, cover/back ]

Discussion Topic: What’s your favorite educational PC game of all time?

4 Responses to “[ Retro Scan ] Bentley Bear’s Spelling Bee”

  1. Jim Says:

    Ah, Bentley Bear. He was Atari’s mascot for a while there. Their Mario if you will. I think the last time he popped up in something was Atari Karts for the Jaguar. Atari is such a mess right now, I don’t know who owns his copyright now.

  2. Geoff V. Says:

    “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” on the Apple II; pretty foundational as educational games go.

    I think my first educational game was “Reader Rabbit.”

  3. Ant Says:

    “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” and “Oregon Trail” on Apple 2s for me.

  4. D.D. Says:

    My favorite educational game was Chem Lab for the Apple II. It had 50 different ‘experiments’ where the player was given a particular goal, the chemicals required to achieve it, and access to a wide range of lab equipment (beakers, condenser, etc). I wasn’t very good at it, but causing havoc by deliberately setting up my ‘experiments’ wrong was fun. 🙂

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