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SummaryThe very rarest of all educational Science games out there!
The GoodScience Shop with Monker is another one of those rare oddities that I picked up at the thrift store in early January 2017. This is the second in a second wave of Step Ahead educational software from Golden Books Interactive, and I've tested this game (along with Colours and Shapes with Hickory) on a wide-variety of Macintosh computers such as the Power Macintosh 7500, the Performa 6400, the iMac G3, the Centris 650, the Power Macintosh 6100, and the PowerBook G4 capable of doing Classic environment, with different operating systems ranging from Mac OS 7 to Mac OS X Tiger.
Since both games are not OS X native, Classic Environment is required for PowerPC Macs with Mac OS X versions up to Tiger. As I've covered earlier in my Colours and Shapes with Hickory review, this is made by Information Technology Design Associates, while the two titles featuring Monker from the first wave were made by Sierra in 1994, one is called the Math Factory, the other being the Spelling Submarine. When Western Publishing Company decided to switch developers to ITDA, they also changed voice actors for Monker. This entry features Len Goodman voicing Monker, and he made the voice sound less grouchier than the previous voice actor from the Sierra entries (Greg Bacon, who went on to voice one of the characters for Edmark's Let's Go Read). In the Sierra entries of Monker, he sounds a tad too grouchy, but starting with Science Shop with Monker, it sounds a lot better! (Very good acting improvement I must say!)
This game has some similarities to Edmark's Sammy's Science House, and features a great selection of activities such as watering a target, making music, programming a robot, and uncovering science facts by solving jigsaws. The oscilloscope activity has some recorded sine wave tones at different pitches digitally, as the mid-90s was the advent of computer-based audio editors such as GoldWave, Sound Forge, Audacity, NCH Tone Generator, Cool Edit (now Adobe Audition), and others came in to play, and these audio editors have implemented the tone generating code, making it sound much better than analog tone generators of the 60s to the 80s.
And watering a target? Well, there was a time where you had to water you plants in the garden and see them grow! Targets are a different thing, and this game implements the watering targets for the kids to try out! Can you figure out the angle and distance of the water barrel to hit the target? I hope so, because it can be fun playing with this activity, and I hit a few targets and out popped some surprises! Isn't that cool?
The BadThe audio guidance from Monker seems to be too repetitive! I also mentioned that Colours and Shapes with Hickory did the same thing, and similarly with LEGO Friends 1999 where the stories are a bunch of repeats! The game's disc contents are just about 30 MB, same as with the Hickory title. I have done my research on this, and CD-ROMs contain 700 MB of data, so the developers were kind of rushed because they need to do it on time for publishing by Western Publishing Company in about a few months. That was so out-of-the-blue if you ask me!
The Bottom LineThis is the second in a series of the second wave of Step Ahead educational software from Golden Books Interactive. Aside from the repetitive use of Monker's audio guidance, it is still fun for the first and second grade children who like to have fun with science!
But wait! There's More! If your kids are in fourth grade, there is also Pacific Interactive's Bill Nye the Science Guy Stop the Rock, which is more adventure-oriented for middle-school children, and if your kids are in kindergarten, also check out Edmark's Sammy's Science House, which covers early science skills for ages under six years old! Both science games feature more topics of science!
Anyways, Science Shop with Monker is a well done educational title, and I definitely recommend this to any first or second grade child who likes to have fun with science, like programming a robot, making music, watering a target and more!
And believe me! This is one of the very rarest Science games out there! And Google doesn't show much about this title! Luckily, This game was documented on MobyGames just to show how good this rare science game is about!