Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
A friend of ours from overseas tells us that "Pink, the Panther" is a real cult phenomenon in Europe ..... that he's considered to be "very cool". Well in this game he's not only very cool, he's very funny! We weren't even out of the first act in the story before we were laughing so hard that we were practically crying.
This is what they call an 'educational adventure game' for kids (the box says Kids to Adults), and in our opinion it's a fine example of how all such games should be made. A sticker on the box says "Warning: Playing with this product for a prolonged period may result in intellectual enlightenment. This ought not to hurt". And indeed, because of the way it is presented it not only doesn't hurt, it's downright fun. We ourselves learned more tidbits about different cultures and their history in a shorter period of time than we have ever experienced with any other format.
You of course play the Pink Panther, the Secret Agent who's been sent to Camp Chilly Wa-Wa to watch over (aka baby sit) a bunch of the children of rich and politically important figures from around the world. You aren't there long before a threatening and nasty presence called the 'Dog Father' appears on the scene and things start to go wrong. By the following morning all of the kids are starting to get weird and freak out, and so Pink spends the rest of the game traveling to their different home countries to find solutions for them and solve the mystery.
From the USA you travel to various locations: Australia, Bhutan (in the Himalayas), China, England, Egypt, and India. The game pokes gentle fun at all of our different cultural peculiarities, while at the same time it brings facts about the various cultures to our attention, and points out a few of the social issues that children raised in some countries will have to deal with. But it is all treated in such a way that it is not only very entertaining, but also the kind of knowledge that 'sticks' in your memory and promotes awareness and acceptance of our differences. And as your appetite is whetted to learn more, you have additional options to access more information. For one thing you can simply right click on many active objects and receive a short explanation about them.
But you also have a beautifully designed onboard encyclopedia. It's billed as a hand held computer and called a PDA (Pink Digital Assistant), but what it looks like is one of those brightly colored 'Busy Boxes' that you bought for your kids when they were very young, with 2 big wheels and a few large buttons. You turn one wheel to the country's flag, the other to the subject, then punch a button for subtopics which include food, clothing, people and language, arts and entertainment, places and maps, nature, history, and religion. In addition there is also a similarly designed kids tape recorder that plays the modern original songs composed for each country, along with accompanying animation (accessed on the Save Menu).
The puzzles are fairly easy with most being a case of finding a hidden object and then using that object on your next problem, but there are a few solutions that are hidden well enough to momentarily stump a seasoned adult adventurer. Not to worry! There's a hint system on the CD which contains the answers for all of the puzzles (in rhyme!).
A 2D, 3rd person, point and click adventure, with an easy interface and the same top notch graphics as those seen on the TV Series (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear that 'Pink Panther' theme now). Play it with your kids. You'll enjoy it!
Developed (1996) by Wanderlust Interactive and distributed by BMG Distribution.
Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!
PC: 486 DX2 66 MHz; Win 3.1 / 95; 8 MB of RAM for Windows 3.1 and 16 MB of RAM for Windows 95; 2X CD ROM Drive; 640 X 480, 256 Colors SVGA Video Card; SoundBlaster or 100% SoundBlaster Compatible Sound Cards; Mouse (Cheese Optional)
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