You are a teenage boy. After connecting to computer museum guide you understand that aliens are in museum, maybe the dinosaurs are waked up. So you take the satchel and run to save the museum from the monsters, who are the computer virus. During your heroic action you must solve puzzles and explore museum, studying the natural history and technology and talking to historical figures.
Story 3 out of 5 You're an average kid. You do your homework, play computer games, err... fix a virus-infected museum....
Yep. That's right. The local museum has recently been fitted with all new lifelike exhibits. You have to go through each of them with your robot buddy, MICK, to help all of the cyreps (Robotic replicas of historic persons) remember what they are important for. Corny, huh? Anyway, help Thomas Jefferson sign the Louisiana purchase, assist in constructing the radio and help clear a girl's name in the Salem Witch Trials.
Puzzles 4 out of 5 The game's full of information and puzzles. Most of them are fairly simple, some of them are actually quite tricky, but others are just annoying. All of the puzzles are fun, though. The hardest puzzle in the game for me, was the sliderpuzzle in the Hall of Ecology. The easiest puzzle, funnily enough, is the last one, where you destroy the virus. If you like puzzles then this game'll be great for you.
Graphics and sound 4 out of 5 The graphics are quite good, I'd say. 256 colors and standard resolution. Admittadly, though, some of the graphics are horribly bad. The game has its own "soundtrack" depending on the type of level. The main hall has a very "educational but jazzy" kind of sound. Kind of like on Saturday Night Live where the teachers sing rock songs in an educational way. The best music in the game has to be, in my opinion, the Western-style piano in the first sections.
Playability 5 out of 5 The game is very playable. You can complete the exhibits in any order, without a time limit, and you don't need to take items from other rooms to complete an exhibit. You have everything you need with you. That's the beauty of "learning".
Overall, the game gets 4 out of 5. It's fun, replayable and who knows? You might just learn something.
One of the best releases from MECC, Museum Madness is a great educational title that will help kids ages 12 and above hone their knowledge of science and history, as well as problem-solving skills, in an attractive inventory-based adventure setting. The plot: someone has sneaked into the town's musuem, and put all the exhibits out of order. It's up to you to restore them, and solve the mystery.
Gameplay is virtually identical to traditional point-and-click adventure games, only simpler: there is only one possible action for each object/person in the room, and the mouse cursor changes shape to signify what you can do. While there are many puzzles that require items from the inventory, they are pretty straightforward (similar to Sierra's Castle of Dr. Brain), since the emphasis here is on learning. Each of the game's 25 exhibits is chock full of items to interact with, problems to solve, and riddles to answer. A wide variety of subjects is covered here, from astronomy, to mechanics, to world history. New exhibits present new challenges and puzzle types, and you can visit them in any order, so the game never feels repetitive. MICK, the museum's robot who accompanies you everywhere, is always eager to give advice and gentle hints if you need them. There are also other user-friendly features, such as the museum map which you can use for quick navigation, and automatic save function.
Overall, Museum Madness is a fun, well-written educational adventure with a surprising depth and range of topics. The only major gripe I have with the game is the unnecessary, boring first stage, where you must navigate a small maze of empty storerooms to find card keys that will eventually unlock doors to the museum proper. The maze is not big, but can frustrate young adventurers-- the game's target audience, in other words. I highly recommend that you perservere, though, because the game gets much, much better after you make it inside. Highly recommended!
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