Being born in 1985, I wasn't really aware of much stuff that was around me. It was Christmas of 1989 when our first family computer was brought in. It was an old Apple computer, and we didn't really use it that much. I wasn't aware of the more advanced computers that were out there, though. You know, the ones that were being made by Macintosh and IBM.
I remember going into stores like Comp USA, and I always glared at those kinds of computers! I thought they were so amazing. I nearly flipped out when in September of 1994, I heard that we were getting one of those!
This computer we got was manufactured by Packered Bell, and we had this thing until late 1998. When we first got this computer, it came with a few games that I fondly remember. These games were all in a series known as Knowledge Adventure.
The games weren't very much, but they were addicting as hell. So, do you want to know more about them? Well, let's dust off the old Packered Bell, boot it up, and see what these beauties were like.
The first game I'd like to talk about is "3D Dinosaur Adventure". This game was pretty inovative because it came with these 3D glasses, which allowed you to watch it in 3D (doy!). Of all the games in the pack, I think this one was the most popular.
The game opens with this awesome 3D video of a charging Allosaurus.
There are several activities to play on this game. This game is actually a sequel to a game that Knowledge Adventure made a couple years before that was called "Dinosaur Adventure", accept this one has a lot more stuff on it.
One game on here is a game that gives you a series of dinosaur pictures, and they tell you of a specific one to find and click on. Pretty simple, right? When you complete the game, you get this ammusing animated cut scene. It reminds me of the Phillips CD-i.
There is also this dinosaur storybook, which is taken directly from the original "Dinosaur Adventure".
Then, there's this 3D Dinosaur Museum, which is kind of pointless. All it is is just moving around a museum looking up at dinosaur statues.
Next, we've got the dinosaur movie theater, which has a bunch of short movies about dinosaurs, including all six of the movies from the original game.
Next, we've got "Create-a-Saurus", which is pretty ammusing. What we've got is a selection of dinosaurs, and this selection of patterns to place over their skin. When you do that, each dinosaur will give their opinion on it. Like if you give the Triceratops a red and white square pattern, she'll say, "Just where do you expect me to hide with this skin? An Italian Restaurant?" or give the Velociraptor a flanal pattern, and he'll say, "I haven't looked this sick since I ate those Triceratops horns 82 million years ago."
Then, we've got Dinosaur Safari, which is probably the most boring game in the game. Basically, it'll show you four dinosaur pics and give you a fact about which one you should click on. There's 35 in all.
Next, we've got the "Who Am I?" game, where it'll show you a part of a dinosaur, and you gotta click on which one it's a part of. This one's pretty fun. I reccomend playing this one before playing "Dinosaur Safari" as the dinosaurs tell you some interesting facts about their body parts. Maybe I shouldn't have told you that.
Last but not least, we've got "Save the Dinosaurs". In this game, you need to go back in time and save 15 dinosaurs before a comet hits the earth. There are time tunnels, which all lead to the different prehistoric periods. In each round, you're given a specific dinosaur to look for and what period it's found in. The problem is that the time tunnels are built like mazes. It may seem quiet at first, but if you make a wrong turn, then suddenly..."RAAAAHHHHHHH!!!" A pack of carnivorous dinosaurs will jump out and scare the crap out of you! And if that's not bad enough, there are also giant bugs in the tunnels, who you need to zap away.
For educational purposes, the game also has a reference guide which teaches you facts about the dinosaurs.
Okay, next up in our lineup is "Kids Zoo". This game is made pretty much for little kids, and it focuses primarily on animals.
It includes a movie theater with short movies about animals.
It also has this story book called "Which Came First?" which is basically focusing on the whole chicken/egg riddle.
It also has it's own "Who Am I?" game and "Can You Find Me?" game.
It also has a couple unique games. One is where you hear an animal sound and match it up with the correct animal.
Another one quizzes you on where in the world animals live.
Then it's got this game that's kind of like the "Dinosaur Safari" game, except it's about all the animals in the animal kingdom. There's 92 in all! This game is for little kids! I don't think kids would have the patience to make it through this game! Heck, not even someone my age would have the patience to sit through this game! Why am I playing this?
Now, here's "3D Body Adventure". A game that focuses on the human body. This one doesn't have as much activities as the other Knowledge Adventure games, but it's still memorable.
Like the other Knowledge Adventure games, there is a reference guide on this one, but this one's a little different. For each body part you research, you are given the chance to rotate it around. You can even see them in wireframe, hear the sounds they make, or even go inside them! This is definately an improvement over that "Microsurgeon" game on the Intellivision.
There's also a movie theater, like in the previous games.
It's also got this little activity called "Body Recall". It's basically like a Memory game. You have to match up the body part with it's name or a fact about it.
But the best game is the Emergency game. You play the role of a doctor and have to go inside a patient's body to cure a disease they have by zapping away viruses! Unfortunately, the only areas you're allowed to explore are the brain, heart, stomach and lungs.
"Undersea Adventure". This one is also a lot of fun. This one explores primarily marine life.
Like "3D Dinosaur" and "Kids Zoo", this one had it's own "Can You Find Me?" and "Who Am I?" games.
It also had this game called "What Do I Eat?" For all you biology majors, this is a game for you to learn what marine animals' diets consist of. It basically gives you this selection of plants and animals and then gives you a marine animal that you are to guess what it eats. Each time you get one right, you hear these ammusing yummy noises.
Then we've got "3D Undersea" world. This one consists of two parts. The first part is an undersea aquarium. Basically, it's set up to look like an aquarium where you look at sea animals and learn a few facts about them. They're all placed into categories: animals who live out in open ocean, animals who live by the shore, plants that exist in coral reefs, exotic fish, dangerous fish, weird fish, and mammals. I don't know how they managed to fit a blue whale in an aquarium.
The second part is a treasure hunt game. When you start the game, you're greeted by this manatee named Splash, who then makes this corny joke: "I'm a manatee. I used to be a boyatee, but then I grew up." Anyway, he invites you to swim around his home and talk with some of his other animal friends who all make these funny statements like "I'm a dolphin, and my brain is as big as your's...scary, isn't it?" or "I may be a jellyfish, but that doesn't mean I go well with peanut butter; my stinging tenticles could cause a very bad case of indigestion."
In the actual game, you're swimming through a maze with one minute to find the sunken treasure. It's not too hard; you basically just move around and stay away from any predators. Not as challenging as "Save the Dinosaurs", in fact, it's not challenging at all.
There's also this Marine Animal Lab, which...I don't get at all.
We've also got this thing called "Ocean Tours", which is kinda like a story book kind of a thing. You're given these four topics about the ocean and sort of imagine you're taking a tour along with it.
Also, like the other Knowledge Adventure games, there's a movie theater and a reference guide. Now, you can learn all about the creatures of the ocean like the octopus, the sea turtle, the sponge, the dolphin, the lobster, the jellyfish, the sea urchin, and the...ewa blenni? What the heck?
Another game I had was "Space Adventure", which didn't work for some reason. Supposedly, this one focused on space, like stars, comets, planets, constellations, astronauts. Well, since I've never been able to experience it, I'll let this one slide.
"Speed". This one was quite unique compared to the other games.
The main feature is this movie, which basically talks about speed throughout the history of the Earth. It's based on an IMAX movie. While watching the film, you have the option of going back and forth through chapters, much like how DVD's work.
There are also these simulators of things like tracking field and roller coasters.
There are a couple games on here too. Like, there is one called "Speed Matching" where you are given four images of animals or vehicles of some type and are given a top speed and are supposed to match up the speed with the correct object.
There's also this game called "Speed Reading". In the game, you're given stuff to read, but you have to read it fast because there's a time limit. At the end of each level, you're given a multiple choice question based on what you've just read. Each time you answer correctly, you move on to the next level, but if you answer incorrectly, you hear this annoying woman screaming and are sent back to the beginning of the level.
Finally, there's this 3D maze game called "Amazing Speed". Basically, you come up to these two pictures showing two images, one pointing left, and one pointing right. You have to follow the path of whichever image has the higher top speed. Going the wrong way will just send you to a dead end (you don't lose time or get the crap scared out of you or anything like that). Sometimes, the answers are right there in plain sight, but as you progress through the maze, it gets tougher. As you go through the maze, there's this annoying voice that keeps routing you on, and like "Speed Reading" there's a time limit. The only way to get a really good time on these games is to keep playing them over and over and over again.
And of course, what Knowledge Adventure game would be complete without a reference guide? Now, you'll know about the top speeds of a lot of different animals and vehicles. Other than wanting to get really good at "Amazing Speed", I fail to see the point of having this reference guide, because none of this info would really help anyone in the future.
Okay, so those are just my memories of the Knowledge Adventure games I used to play as a kid. I sure wish I was able to play them again. They were a lot of fun.
Now, if you think this article is over, then you're wrong. I've decided as a bonus to talk about another game that came with my old Packered Bell computer. It's not part of the Knowledge Adventure series, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to play.
"Mega Race" is a racing game, but it's a lot different from most racing games.
You're playing a contestant who has won a chance to race on the most popular racing show in the world hosted by the most annoying game show host in existance.
Basically, you're racing on different tracks from around the world. However, there is something on here you may not expect out of a racing game. The goal in this game is to race on each track and destroy all of the other racers. If you don't destroy them all before making three laps, then the game's over.
Your car is equipped with a gun, but you run out of fire power pretty fast. The controls are also quite frustrating, especially since you have to use the mouse and the keyboard to get anywhere.
The only other thing I want to talk about are the levels themselves. There are these cities with oddball names like Newsan, Factoryland and Terminal City. There's also these really weird places like the lost city of Atlantis, a professor's laboratory, and even inside the corpse of a whale. One level, Tokyo, is probably the most frustrating level. Everything looks exactly the same, and you can never tell how close you are to doing another lap. I have never beaten this level. It's like impossible to beat.
Well, regardless of all those flaws I mentioned, these were all good games. They should definately re-release these games if that ever becomes a reality. Seeya around.