With Spring Break over now, the TechRaptor crew decided to get all nostalgic over edutainment titles and which ones were their favorite for any of a number of reasons.
For my favorite Edutainment game, I would have to say it's Where in Time is Carmen San Diego?
. Not the more famous precursor Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
, but the followup that isn't as well known because it adopts more of an adventure game structure and history is a topic that interests me a lot more. I played it during a challenging time and it helped there and I learned a good amount about history.
An honorable mention here as to go to the Canadian Oregon Trail, which is CrossCountry Canada a game which has you traveling across Canada as a truck driver, trading a variety of goods. If you want to play it, it's available on the Internet Archive and it was on a number of computers at schools.
Lastly a mention to the first game I really got into - Troggle Trouble which I learned a lot of math through and overplayed as a kid.
Alright, so I have a few edutainment games that I absolutely LOVED as a kid and played a ton of. Maybe others have fond memories of these too, so I'm curious to see what other staff and our readers have to say. Growing up in the '90s and '00s, I definitely attribute a good chunk of learning and reasoning skills from my time with video games, and I'm sure plenty of others had similar experiences. Here's my top 3 that I could remember really well.
First off, Darby The Dragon obviously. Seriously that game was great with a mix of learning and just all around goofiness.
Second, Cluefinders 3rd grade (and subsequent games) we absolutely my jam - tons of great puzzles and adventure to be had. Really fond memories of that game.
Finally, The Incredible Machine was so much fun to go through that first time, and each of the following games were great too. Kinda want to find a way to play that now...
For edutainment games, I think it would be the first Zoombinis
. I remember thinking that game looked neat and had some fun playing it.
At my primary school, every PC in the library that students could use had Treasure MathStorm
installed. Kids would hog the PCs entire recess to play it, though honestly it probably was because there weren't many options for a digital distraction (at least until Digimon Digivices became a thing). I remember either playing it or backseat gaming a classmate who was on the PC. Honestly, I don't think we really understood the mechanics entirely, but it was fun figuring out the Adventure Game style aspects with using nets and snowballs to stun elves (or imps?). The actual 'math' was always such a small part of the game, that I wonder if it did its job too
well and distracted all the students from learning any math
While I didn't get any smarter, Big Brain Academy
for the DS was a great way to have fun on long road trips. Which is weird, since I never thought that an educational title would be so captivating. There's a lot of mini-games that were enjoyable and enthralling for a 10-year-old kid like me. The constant drive to get a higher score was prevalent throughout which also helped. I wouldn't suggest it for anyone older really, but if you have a spare copy and an old DS on hand, it's probably more valuable for kids to play that than other games and just as entertaining.
. I wish I was joking. From when I was 5 up until about 10 I thought that Ouijia Board
was a spelling game. I was really good at it.
I think my favorite edutainment game is probably Adiboo: Magical Playland
. While there were games that actually taught you stuff like spelling and maths in the series, Magical Playland was just a game about prating around, growing vegetables and making cakes. Of course, I don't think it ever taught me anything super useful, except that robots will help you bake disgusting cakes, and that cats will break into your house, snort cocaine and then rave the place to the ground. Isn't that a lesson we all truly need in our lives?
Did you know there are people who refuse to protect themselves against viruses? Plague Inc
taught me those people are called idiots, and the best ways to destroy them.