Schools these days seem more like a business opportunity than a place to nurture children’s minds. With a focus almost entirely on pupils scoring well enough on exams to keep educational facilities on the payroll, rather than looking after children’s well-being it’s a surprise that No Pineapple Left Behind wasn’t developed sooner.
No Pineapple Left Behind plays out in a fictional world where turning people into pineapples could be the simplest solution to smooth test scores. These test taking fruits don’t have complicated problems like crushes and difficult home lives to worry about, so they are probably better off staying that way right? Keep your perfect pineapples in order to prevent them turning back into people. In No Pineapple Left Behind you play as a principal trying to keep his school doors open by keeping test scores up. Do you focus on children’s well being, or do you let your army of test taking pineapples do the work for you?
There is actually a rather interesting story behind the concept of No Pineapple Left Behind. Asides from being a satirical take on the developer’s time working as a teacher, the pineapple plays its own purpose. With fears that standardized testing was becoming too easy as test scores rose (instead of kids doing well or anything) Pearson were given $32million in order to completely rework testing.
What they delivered was a peculiar test involving the Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare with a talking pineapple replacing the titular tortoise. In this story the pineapple loses (for obvious reasons) and eight graders were asked to work out the emotions of various animals as well as who was the “wisest” in this story. Parents and teachers were dumbfounded, not to mention the students, and so the story of the talking pineapple have become somewhat of a legend.
No Pineapple Left Behind is not only a work of satire, but helps players step into the shoes of the principals and the decision makers who are caught up in all of this bureaucracy. It’s still in the alpha state at the moment but I expect good things in the future. You can find out more about No Pineapple Left Behind on their website.
What do you think of No Pineapple Left Behind?