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Box art for I.M. Meen
|Publisher(s)||Simon & Schuster Interactive|
|Artist(s)||Masha Kolesnikova (character design)|
|Composer(s)||Anthony Trippi (Tony Trippi)|
|Genre(s)||Educational game, First Person Shooter|
I.M. Meen is an educational video game that runs on DOS, designed to teach grammar to children. In this game, the player must walk around a labyrinth, rescuing children and defeating monsters. The educational aspect of the game comes in the form of "scrolls", writings of I.M. Meen in which the player must correct the grammatical mistakes in order to rescue the children. The game is made by the Russo-American Animation Magic, the same company that made the CD-i games Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, as well as working on the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Peter Berkrot provided I.M. Meen's voice.
Ignatius Mortimer Meen, an evil magician who despises children and learning, creates a magical book that sucks children inside when they read it. The book takes them to a massive labyrinth, where they are found by monstrous guardians and locked into cells. Players play as two children named Scott and Katie, who are trapped inside this labyrinth. Gnorris, a gnome who has betrayed I.M. Meen, helps the two escape and, after sending them to rescue the other children, presents a magic orb so he can contact the player at any time. He gives hints as the game progresses and warns whenever a boss is nearby.
The player travels through the labyrinth, defeating the monsters and rescuing the children, causing the labyrinth's condition to rapidly deteriorate. The player must eventually confront I.M. Meen himself and defeat him using Writewell's Book of Better Grammar, which he has stolen and hidden in the labyrinth. After his defeat, the magician vows revenge and disappears, declaring "I.M. Meen never quits! You'll see!".
The player goes through 36 levels in the game with nine locations, including a tower, a dungeon, sewers, caves, catacombs, hedgerow mazes, castles, laboratories, and libraries. The player must rescue all the children on each level to get to the next one, which is done by fixing grammar mistakes in various scrolls. In every fourth level, the player must defeat a boss monster, otherwise known as one of I.M. Meen's special pets, to advance to a new area. There are items in the labyrinth that can be used to help the player defeat the various monsters that dwell in the labyrinth, as well as help them out in other ways. The player has an Agility Meter, similar to a health meter that, when it runs out, takes the player back to the beginning of the level and removes all items collected on that level. Near the end of the game, the player must defeat I.M Meen himself, who can only be harmed by the Writewell's Book of Better Grammar (other weapons have no effect on him at all). Defeating him and solving the last scroll wins the game.
The Contra Costa Times gave the game a positive review, calling it "the first computer game for young children to use the same fast 3-D graphics found in Doom" and praising it for its educational themes. Brad Cook of Allgame thought that the game's graphics and sound were well-executed, and thought that the game was well-developed for its time, but concluded his review by saying, "Since this program set out first and foremost to be an educational product, I'll have to give it a low mark because it simply fails to do that, despite how well-done the rest of it is" and gave the game two stars out of five.
Sega CD port
There were plans for a Sega CD port of I. M. Meen, but it was never released. A demo labeled "IM MEEN v1.04 SCD (c) 1995" was acquired by YouTube user ChokoProductions in 2011. The disc only contains the company logos and the opening animation. After the opening animation, the disc sends the user to the Sega CD BIOS.
A sequel to the game was made, titled Chill Manor, featuring a story about I.M. Meen's presumed wife, Ophelia Chill, who obtains the Book of Ages and tears out all the pages, allowing her to rewrite history. Meen appears at the game's ending to rescue Ophelia after she is tied to a chair.
- Cook, Brad. "I.M. Meen review". Allgame. Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- "Í.M. Meen - The Free Library". Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- "Fun, educational game lets kids explore their 'meen' streak". Contra Costa Times. 1995-08-11. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- ChokoProductions (2011-06-28). "*RARE* I.M Meen - Sega CD port?". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-07.