Monday, July 24, 2006

save me, tom cruise!

Today my mom wanted me to go through some old computer stuff that we still had. A few were CD-ROMs of games we never play; about half of the stuff was composed of old cases or books to games we don't have anymore.

I found some of the stuff that came with a few of my favorite games from when I was younger. Of course, we've given the actual games away... we just have the booklets on how to play them or the cases they came in. Still, it was a nice trip down memory lane.

Gizmos & Gadgets- This game was awesome. You had to build a vehicle, and you were given a plan... but you had to go find the parts. To find the parts, you had to trek through a warehouse and solve science puzzles behind doors (build a circuit, use simple machines, etc). You had to watch out for the chimps, who would steal the parts! But if you had bananas, they'd go away. Once you built your vehicle, you could change its color and which parts you used before racing it against the bad guy's vehicle. It was definitely an educational game, but it was also a lot of fun and I remember playing it during recess in elementary school as well as at home.

Midnight Rescue was another game in the Super Solvers series (like Gizmos). Morty, the same bad guy, is trying to erase the school by midnight. You have to find clues in notes and stories, as well as taking pictures of Morty's robots, to find out which robot is really Morty in disguise this time! Of course, this game is designed to test reading comprehension and teach vocabulary and that sort of thing, but it was a lot of fun to hurry to press the space bar as soon as you saw a robot so you could get a picture of him in time and to figure out which robot was the bad guy and make him disappear. I was actually trying to think of this game a few days ago for some reason, because I remember it being so much fun.

Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, now packaged as Zoobinis: Logical Journey (because there are apparently more Zoombinis games now and I did not know this?!), was definitely one of my favorites even in the later years. My second grade classroom (that I spent time in this past semester) had this game on their computers and the kids still loved it. This game was big on logic skills (imagine that), as well as patterns, math, and reasoning. You started out creating Zoombinis with various attributes- they could have different feet, eyes, hair, and noses. For some games, you had to use these attributes- for instance, you had to place every Zoombini on a boat and on either side it had to touch Zoombinis that it had something in common with. Other games were different, such as having to figure out what kind of pizza toppings the villain wanted by trying some toppings and seeing what worked and didn't work. The games started out easy, but as you traversed the same path with more groups of Zoombinis, the games would get increasingly difficult. The Zoombinis are deathly cute, and I'm quite sure that if I played this game today I'd still have fun, even at 19.

We had some other great educational computer games, too, when I was little- Math Blaster, The Oregon Trail, and Carmen Sandiego, for instance- but I think they're a bit more well-known so I didn't go into them.

I think I'm definitely going to have to buy a copy of each for my classroom when I'm a teacher. I'm pretty sure these games are timeless and could still help kids learn while being fun. That, and I want to play them again. :)

Anyone else remember some great old games?

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Oregon Trail, the lesser known brother Amazon Trail, mahjong, and Mavis Beacon rocked my elementary socks.