Sierra’s EcoQuest series was brilliant. The point-and-click adventure starred pre-teen do-gooder Adam, and found him single-handedly fighting against the evils of oil rigs and people who don’t put their tin cans in the right bin. Throughout the games Adam meets a series of sickly, orphaned animals that send him on quests as part of EcoQuest’s not-so-subtle guilt-the-player strategy, convincing children of the nineties that every time they litter, a baby lemur will get melted into jet fuel. And yet somehow under its thick, suffocating blanket of tedious activism EcoQuest was also a legitimately fun game.
This was a title that tackled serious issues related to harvesting rainforests and polluting oceans. But it also had talking bats! More horrifying world truths should be revealed through talking animals. This is a truism that the games industry still seems to be struggling with.
With great lemons comes great responsibility. A lemon saved is a lemon earned. And of course, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. These are the truths that Lemonade Stand taught us. The game begins with lemons and a dream to become the number one producer of bitter sweet drinks that can be bought on the outskirts of cul-de-sacs.
As your foray into competitive world of drink stand entrepreneurialism, the game combines a Nike sweatshop work ethic with the great American pastime of selling cups of things outside of your house. And for a game developed in 1977, it allowed for a hell of a lot of min/maxing opportunities, letting you manage your stand around the clock while studying the outcome of weather changes on your sales. In fact, it met with enough success to be included with Apple II computers right through until the eighties.
Hi! Which of these are a multiplier of 2? You can circle answers directly on to your screen in felt.
46, 5, 7, 40, 5, 30
Above: Doing the math in Number Munchers
You didn't circle the answers at all, did you? It’s probably because the limited math part of your brain is made of mush. It’s gotten soft because you haven’t been sharpening your mathematical mind with edutainment titles like Number Munch. This was a classic that managed to grab hold of the leaky minds of 12-year-olds in the 1980s and got them interested in math by incorporating victory conditions and cartoon monster things called troggles, who look a bit like those fish they find with vestigial legs on their back from radiation exposure. Troggles would eat correct answers or shift the number-board around in places, limiting possible high-scores. To this day “Troggles” is a viable excuse for not filling out your taxes properly.
Above: Also, let’s not forget about LOGO. It was a programming language designed to aid constructivist teaching. But most of us remember it as “that game with the turtle robot that drew patterns on paper”
May 13, 2010
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