Moptown Parade

Puzzle 1984 Dos The Learning Company Education

Crude logic-developing game

In terms of edutainment titles, they don't come much more old-school than this early offering from one of the stalwarts of the genre, The Learning Company, perhaps best known for the likes of the Super Solvers franchise. The goal behind this one is to teach young gamers about pattern recognition and simple logic skills and although it's fairly straightforward stuff, with basic graphics, the game's intention still stands up well and it could come in useful even in this modern age. Players are presented with a series of moppet creatures (basically a bunch of bricks piled together in very retro fashion, this was the early 80s after all), each of which can be described according to a distinct set of characteristics. You are then presented with a specific rule and instructed to create a lineup of moppets according to that rule. You can add rules up to a total of four to increase the challenge, although this does in fact simply create a different sequence of just two types of moppet, so the difficulty doesn't crank up that much. That's actually pretty much all there is to the game and given the lack of variety, it is questionable how much use or fun the whole thing is. However, when you consider the target market and the skills they need to learn, it does become apparent that the title does serve some sort of function, albeit a very narrow and limited one. When you throw in the forgivably crude graphics, you're left with an edutainment title that isn't awful, but which is just a far cry from Carmen Sandiego and Headline Harry.

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