Rocky's Boots is a simple educational puzzle game where you can learn about logic circuits.
You control a nondescript square, moving it about several rooms. Each room contains basic electronic parts like AND, OR and NOT gates, flip-flops, delays and clocks. You can pick these up and combine them to build simple or complex circuits.
After a helpful tutorial, the task in the game is to build "kicking" machines: Objects of different colors move through an area and turn sensor outputs on and off. You now have to build a circuit that activates a kicking device which kicks the right objects out. When you do it just right, Rocky the raccoon dances a little jig to a joyful melody for you!
The game also features an editor where you can build you very own kicking puzzle.
Rocky's Boots was designed as a graphical teaching tool to teach children simple logic. In the game players attempt to build circuits that will activate a boot to kick the appropriate shapes out of line as they scroll past on a sort of conveyer belt. At first these circuits are simple, hooking the boot to the right combination of sensors with logic gates, graphical representations of 'and's and 'or's. Later boards become increasingly more difficult. In some of the final challenges the solution has nothing to do with the sensors at all, requiring circuits be built that are timed to kick at specified intervals.
If this all sounds too complex don't worry, Rocky's Boots has extensive and exhaustive tutorials. These tutorials will not only bring you up to speed in the game but are absolutely mandatory for success.
Marketed for upper grade school children both in look at feel, Rocky's Boots to this day provides puzzles that could challenge a much older audience. The challenge level puzzle to puzzle does a good job of starting out simple and increasing gradually. While most people find an upper limit to the puzzles in Rocky's Boots they can handle, it always feels like the next problem is only slightly harder than the last, and therefore not impossible.
Rocky's Boots enjoyed notable success in sales and received several awards, even being called "Software of the Year" for 1983 by two different magazines. It was difficult in the late 80s to find an Apple IIe computer lab in a grade school in America that did not have Rocky's Boots on available.
Just a quick note about the most complicated solution in the screen shots here. No, I did not come up with that solution myself. I had to steal it from the net. But it does illustrate the awesome feats of brilliance beating later levels involves.
Rocky's Boots is an excellent educational game that teaches kids the basics of logic circuits that computers are based on. A true predecessor of better-known Robot Odyssey, Rocky's Boots was aimed at a slightly younger audience, but is no less challenging and fun. Here is how the designer himself, Warren Robinett, founder of The Learning Company, describes this forgotten classic:
"[Rocky's Boots] won Software of the Year awards from Learning magazine (1983), Parent's Choice magazine (1983), and Infoworld magazine (1982, runner-up), and received the Gold Award (for selling 100,000 copies) from the Software Publishers Association. It was one of the first educational software products for personal computers to successfully use an interactive graphical simulation as a learning environment. It was a precursor to later simulation products such as SimCity and The Incredible Machine.
Rocky's Boots was a visual simulation that made it possible for upper-grade-school students to design simple digital logic circuits, using a joystick to move around circuit symbols on the screen and plug them together. The circuit components were AND gates, OR gates, NOT gates, and flip-flops. The colors orange and white were used to show the logic states '1' and '0' of the components, so that as the circuit operated, the signals could be seen propagating through the circuits, as if the electricity was liquid orange fire flowing through transparent pipes."
With excellent in-game instructions and tutorials that set high standards for edutainment titles, intuitive user interface, and a great gameplay that teaches as well as entertains, Rocky's Boots is a must-have for everyone, child or not, who wants to learn about how computer logic works. Fans of Robot Odyssey and Gertrude's Secrets in particular will enjoy this classic for ours on end.
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Learn about Programming, Reader Rabbit, Spell It Plus!, Music Construction Set, Super Solvers: Treasure Mountain, Logical Games and Puzzles, School House, Spy's Adventure: North America
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