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SummaryA nice kids game that has an easy-to-use interface and some interesting mechanics
The GoodThis game wasn't something I grew up with. Firstly, I had a Commodore 64 but Sierra didn't make games for it around 1987. Secondly, it wasn't until 1992 until I purchased my first PC and even then I grew out of all things Mother Goose. Sierra was the only company that sold a Mother Goose-related product, and it was created by Roberta Williams, the same author that wrote King's Quest.
The game is called Mixed-up Mother Goose for a reason, and it's not because the nursery rhymes featured are "mixed-up" with others. You are transported to a land of Banbury where several objects are littered everywhere. It is up to the player to take these objects to the person who is featured in the rhymes. Although there are some rhymes that I knew from school such as Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet, I haven't heard most of them.
Once the player correctly matches the object with the person, the game reproduces the nursery rhyme, complete with animations. Although the nursery rhymes sounds tolerable through the PC Speaker, it sounds a lot better if you own a Tandy computer. What's good about the rhymes is that the player can sing along to them while they watch the animations. As far as the animations go, they blend in with the verses, and they look neat. The main theme song also sounds nice.
The game uses a modified version of Sierra's AGI engine. Picking up objects is as easy as touching them. They are displayed in the box in the upper-right corner, and remains there until it is given to their owner, which can be achieved also by touching. I like this game mechanic as it is easier to do things in the game. You don't have to enter "pick up object" or "give object to someone". One object can be carried at a time, making it easier for children since it avoids confusion about the number of objects are stored and what they look like.
The graphics are very good even under the low resolution of 160x200. The roads, as well as the houses that line them, are laid out nicely; and the interiors are well designed. The game world itself is huge, and it is easy to get lost without a map. It is nice that the game has a night time setting, to accompany the Hey-Diddle-Diddle nursery rhyme.
Finally, the game is replayable. With the exception of the watering can, each object is placed in a different spot each new game, meaning that children can't memorize the locations of all objects. Also, selecting your appearance before you start the game is a nice touch. I got to play as a child that looks like me, but without the glasses!
The BadRoberta knows how to make a kid's game, so I have nothing to complain about.