Treasure Mountain!

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Treasure Mountain!
Treasure Mountain! Coverart.png
Developer(s) The Learning Company
Publisher(s) The Learning Company
Platform(s) PC (Windows, Macintosh)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Educational/Adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Treasure Mountain! is an educational computer game published by The Learning Company in 1990[1] for both Windows and Macintosh PCs. It teaches children aged five to nine, reading, basic math, and logic skills.[1] Treasure Mountain is the third installment of the Super Solvers series.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Treasure Mountain! as well as the other "Treasure" games in the Super Solvers series, take place in a magical realm called Treasureland. The game takes place on a mountain called "Treasure Mountain". Treasure MathStorm!, a later release, takes place on the same mountain.

Plot[edit]

As the game opens, the Master of Mischief, a common antagonist of The Learning Company's Super Solvers series, steals the kingdom's crown and hides all of the castle's treasures. The player takes on the role of the Super Solver once again, whose job is to find the treasures and remove the Master of Mischief from the throne.

Gameplay[edit]

The user interface of Treasure Mountain! consists of the play area on top and displays of the player's discovered clues, coins, nets, and collected treasures at the bottom.

The objective of Treasure Mountain! is to find the hidden treasures and return them to the chest in the castle at the top of the mountain.[3]

The mountain consists of three levels. The player cannot climb higher until he has found the key to unlock the next level. To find the key, the player must get clues about its location by answering elves' riddles. If the player captures an elf carrying a scroll with his net and answers the riddle correctly, he will receive a clue- a number, shape, or description about where the key to the next level is hidden.[4]

In the background, there are several groups of objects that have characteristics that can be matched to the clues. The player may search behind these objects by dropping a magic coin. If the objects match all three clues, the player will find the key to the next level. If the objects match two out of the three clues, the player will find one of the stolen treasures.

After finding the key on each of the three levels of the mountain, he can enter the castle. At this point, the player must climb up a maze of ladders, avoiding the Master of Mischief, who tries to knock the player off. Once the player reaches the top, he deposits all treasures found into the castle's treasure chest and is given a prize (one of the treasures discovered during the game) as a reward for completing the three stages. This prize is kept on display in the player's clubhouse, showing how many times he has ascended the mountain. From this point, the player may exit the clubhouse and start again from the bottom of the mountain.[4]

When the player deposits a certain number of treasures in the castle's treasure chest, he will go up a star rank. At higher ranks, the game becomes more difficult, as there will be more treasures to find, harder riddles to answer, and elves that steal magical coins.

Development[edit]

System requirements
Requirements
Microsoft[5]
Operating system DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher
CPU 386/25 MHz or better
Memory 4 MB RAM
Hard drive 20 MB
Graphics hardware 256-color SVGA or 16-color VGA
Sound hardware Windows-compatible sound card
Macintosh[5]
Operating system System 7 or higher
CPU 68030 processor or better
Graphics hardware 256-color monitor

Treasure Series[edit]

Treasure Mountain! is the first of four games in The Learning Company's "Treasure" series along with Treasure Cove!, Treasure MathStorm!, and Treasure Galaxy!. The Treasure series is a subgroup of the company's Super Solvers series.[6] All the games in this series are math and reading comprehension oriented educational adventure games aimed at younger children. Games in the treasure series all have the same three stage gameplay format where a special object, whose location can be deduced by answering questions, is needed to reach the next stage.[1]

Music[edit]

In lieu of original musical scores, Treasure Mountain! employs a number of classical pieces as background music. The music heard in the game's introduction is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's "Solfeggietto".[7][8] The theme heard in the outdoor levels is a combination of two of Beethoven's contredanses,[8] WoO 14: No.1 and WoO 14: No.3. [nb 1] The theme heard in caves comes from the first movement of J. S. Bach's Keyboard Concerto no. 1 in D minor.[9]

Later Versions[edit]

In 1994, a version with enhanced sound and graphics was released on CD-ROM.[1]

Treasure Mountain! was later released in a software bundle package with both Treasure Cove! and Treasure Galaxy! under the name "Treasure Trio!". This was one of the first software bundle packages ever sold.[10]

Treasure Mountain! was also released in a software bundle package with Treasure Cove!.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 4.5/5 stars[3]
Abandonia 3.0 out of 5[1]
MobyGames 3.6 out of 5[4]
Awards
Publication Award
Home of the Underdogs Top Dog Award[11]

Treasure Mountain! has received mediocre to positive reviews. Computer Gaming World gave the game four out of five stars, calling it "an easy-to-play, visually appealing, non-violent arcade-style game for beginners" with some reading ability.[12] Lisa Savignano of Allgame gave the game 4.5 stars out of 5 stating that "Treasure Mountain may be somewhat repetitive, but each level will impel the kids to go onward until they finally get all 300 treasures and win the game...the game can be played over and over again."[3] Users at Home of the Underdogs gave Treasure Mountain! the Top Dog Award, an award given to games "(they) feel are severely underrated...to distinguish truly great underdogs from the pack."[13] They gave it a thumbs up, claiming that "children will be captivated by the game's vibrant graphics...They will spend many hours solving puzzles, doing math problems, and looking for hidden treasures-- sharpening their math skills without even realizing it."[11]

Abandonia users gave more mediocre reviews, but said that "collecting toys and getting to the next level can be somewhat addicting."[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Found by comparing music from gameplay with Beethoven's contredanses

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f guesst. "Super Solvers Treasure Mountain!". "Abandonia. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  2. ^ Chris Martin and others. "Super Solvers series". MobyGames. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  3. ^ a b c Savignano, Lisa. "Treasure Mountain! Review". Allgame. 
  4. ^ a b c "Super Solvers: Treasure Mountain!". MobyGames. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Treasure Mountain!". AbleData. 2003-07-29. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  6. ^ "Super Solvers". TvTropes. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  7. ^ "Public Domain Soundtrack". TvTropes. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  8. ^ a b NCF. "On The Music Of Video Games". Kickass Classical Forums. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  9. ^ "Classical Music You Never Knew You Knew!". Gaia Online. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  10. ^ "SoftKey International Makes The Learning Company's 'Super Solvers Super Learning Collection!' and 'Treasure Trio!' Premium Bundles Available to All Retailers". PR Newswire. 1996-09-04. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  11. ^ a b Underdogs. "Super Solvers: Treasure Mountain". Home of the Underdogs. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  12. ^ Ackelson, Caitlin (June 1991). "Kaptivating Komputer Games Katch Kids' Imaginations". Computer Gaming World. p. 82. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Home of the Underdogs FAQ". Home of the Underdogs. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 

External links[edit]