Zoombinis

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Zoombinis
Genres Educational, puzzle
Developers Brøderbund Software (1996)
The Learning Company (2001-2)
TERC, FableVision, and Learning Games Network (2015+)
Publishers Brøderbund Software (1996)
The Learning Company (2001-2)
Platforms Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, OS X
First release Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
March 1996
Latest release Zoombinis Island Odyssey
2002

Zoombinis are a series of educational puzzle computer games that were originally developed by TERC and published by Brøderbund Software until The Learning Company bought Brøderbund in 1998 and took over developing and publishing the series in 2001. A new version of the original Zoombinis game, updated for tablets and modern operating systems, is scheduled to be released by TERC, FableVision, and Learning Games Network summer 2015.[1]

Games[edit]

Logical Journey of the Zoombinis (1996)[edit]

Screenshot of gameplay

The Zoombinis have to leave Zoombini Isle in search for safer land. Throughout their journey, they have to solve puzzles that interfere their journey, such as having to give the three trolls pizzas, with specific toppings, in order to pass, or be able to launch over a cliff using some contraptions such as hang-gliders. The player will help them across and eventually helping the Zoombinis to get to Zoombiniville, a town where it is safe from danger, and the place where Zoombinis can prosper.

The Washington Post‍‍ '​‍s Rob Pegoraro wrote that the game was less insipid than he expected, and that the pattern and deductive logic puzzles teach "how to think" rather than a specific skill.[2] Karney said the game was fun and praised its audio cues for children with little reading skills.[3] In 1997, the game won "Best Home Education for Pre-Teens" at the 12th Codie awards.[4] In March 2015, TERC, the original creator of Zoombinis launched a Kickstarter campaign to release an updated version of the game for modern tablets and computers. It was successfully funded.[5]

Zoombinis Mountain Rescue (2001)[edit]

After the foundation of Zoombiniville, the Zoombinis find peace once more, until a small group of them get trapped inside a cave seeking shelter from a storm. They meet up with strange creatures called Boolies who occupy a city known as Booliewood. As a result of the storm, the Boolies have been scattered across the land, and their leader, the Grand Boolie Boolie, has disappeared. The goal of the game is to recruit a total of 400 Boolies to Booliewood to resurrect the Grand Boolie Boolie.

Zoombinis Island Odyssey (2002)[edit]

In this game, the Zoombinis discover that they left the native moths to die in their former homeland of Zoombini Isle, and return to the Isle, which is now empty of the colonist Bloats who earlier enslaved the Zoombinis. A group of 12 Zoombinis, which can be customized, are each carrying a caterpillar in order to restore the island life. The player must then complete different puzzles, such as growing berries and breeding butterflies, to eventually restore the ecosystem of the island. This is the first game of the series to incorporate science in the puzzles, which include intersection of rates, decoding, astronomical time, Venn diagrams, and Punnett squares, as well as some reincarnations of puzzles from Logical Journey. The graphics have again changed, and the Zoombinis' features are no longer important to gameplay. Here, they are fully 3-D. When the Zoombinis release 224 Zerbles (native wildlife) into the wild, the Zoombinis return to Zoombiniville, and the game is won.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/17/nonprofit-launches-kickstarter-to-bring-back-zoombinis-educational-game/
  2. ^ Pegoraro, Rob (April 7, 1996). "The Learning Game". The Washington Post  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. (Broderbund)(The Learning Arcade) (Software Review)(Brief Article)(Evaluation)". Computer Shopper (subscription required) – via HighBeam Research. 
  4. ^ "1997 Codies awarded for best software.". Tape-Disc Business  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). April 1, 1997. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Zoombinis". TERC. Kickstarter. February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.