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Mixed-Up Mother Goose

Moby ID: 22295
DOS Specs
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Description

This is an updated version of Roberta Williams' Mixed-Up Mother Goose. This version utilizes Sierra's SCI game interpreter and features enhanced graphics and sound.

The gameplay remains the same as the previous version; all of the nursery rhymes in Mother Goose Land have become mixed up! Your goal is to set things straight by locating missing items for each of the fairy tale characters in the land. When wandering around the land you can talk to the different characters (each from a different nursery rhyme) to find out what item it is they need; for example, Little Bo Peep is looking for her sheep and Jack Be Nimble lost his candle stick. The items are scattered about the land, and when you locate one pick it up and return it to the appropriate character. When successful, the complete nursery rhyme will play with the lyrics appearing on screen. You can only carry one item at a time, so you may need to remember where you spotted or dropped items not being carried! Also, each time the game is played objects will be in a new location. Included with the game is a map of Mother Goose Land which may help you locate the different fairy tale characters.

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24 People

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Game Designer
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"Mother Goose" Theme by
SCI Development System
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Reviews

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 2 reviews)

The remake of a classic Sierra children's game is just as good as the original

The Good
Mixed-Up Mother Goose is the brainchild of Sierra who first released the game way back in 1987. It was made using their ancient AGI engine, and featured chunky graphics that were common in Sierra games back then. This release, along with their other flagship titles, was popular that it got a facelift around 1990-91. This remake was created with the company's newer SCI0 engine and it is impressive.

If you did not play the original game, you create your character, giving it a name. You can assign the same name to different characters, which is good because you can't delete your character while in the game. You watch your character get transported to Mother Goose Land, where they have to fix eighteen rhymes, mainly by finding an item and delivering to the person who wants it. Some items are either out in the open or inside somebody's house. When it is delivered, the rhyme that is related to that item plays out in full, and you proceed to deal with the next one.

This version of the game features the same title screen, but one thing I noticed right away is how the music is not restricted to the PC Speaker. It sounds impressive, and it sounds more relaxing coming through the Roland MT-32 sound module. With the exception of the various nursery rhymes, this is the only piece of music you'll hear throughout the majority of the game.

The game is more colorful due to the upgrade to the engine, and I often ignored the checkerboard patterns on most of the sprites. The different animations when each rhyme plays are smooth and they are a joy to watch. When certain rhymes play, the text appears line by line, making it easier for children to sing along to them themselves.

The game can be replayed, due to the randomness of objects in each game. I believe that a map is included with the game, which you can use to get around Mother Goose Land quicker. Without it, it is so much easier to get lost. But hey, there is no time limit in the game, so why not just check out the sights?

The Bad
Some of the nursery rhymes were a bit out of tune, and some sprites just have the wrong colors.

The Bottom Line
Mixed-Up Mother Goose is a remake of the 1987 game of the same name. It has the same game mechanics, but improves on their quality. If you didn't have a PC back when the original game came out, you probably could get this remake. The object is to fix the nursery rhymes by delivering the right item to anyone who wants it, but it won't hurt to walk around a bit, admiring the sights and getting familiar with the layout.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2014

A nice and sentimental game with a certain big flaw

The Good
This is the first version of "Mixed-Up Mother Goose" I have ever played and while I was already well beyond the intended age group at that time, I have much sentiment for this game.
The graphics have been improved much. This game is a good example of how lovely and colorful EGA graphics can look. The landscape isn't as varied as for example in "Quest for Glory 1" or "King's Quest 4" and it's generally much smaller, but it really looks good. EGA colors were generally quite bright, so they were good for drawing sunny sceneries and this game looks just like that. While the game looks much better, the graphics haven't been changed very much compared to the AGI version. Most parts of the landscape have the same colors, but a higher resolution allowed more details and improvement of areas which looked poor because of dithering not looking good or credible in more primitive graphics. In the 1987 version all roads in the town and countryside were brown with minor details (pebbles etc.) in red, gray and black - pure yellow would have been too bright to look credible as sand or gravel, but brown didn't look too good either. In the 1990 version the roads are yellow-gray (dithered colors) and it works very well. This is how good EGA graphics created the impression of more colors being used despite having only 16.
The sound has undergone a vast improvement. Well, it's still simple, it still doesn't sound like different instruments, but simply like "computer sounds", still doesn't include vocals (these were introduced in the second remake) - but at least it doesn't distort melodies as PC Speaker did. As I said in my review of the 1987 version, a few songs are even hard to recognize. I don't have a good ear, but anyway I can distinguish between "this sounds amazing!" and "something's not right". PC Speaker couldn't play more than one sound at the same time and it sounds a bit as if it couldn't play semitones - this would explain why it simply sounds out of tune in some moments. The 1990 version of "Mixed-Up Mother Goose" already supports sound cards and the melodies may not be perfect, but are clearly recognizable.
The game's educational value and replay value are the same as in other versions. In every new game item location is random (apart from the watering can and I just don't know why only this item "doesn't move"), so each gameplay is slightly different.

The Bad
Character movement isn't very comfortable. In typical Sierra games with keyboard input pressing an arrow meant moving in this direction until the arrow was pressed again. In the original version of "Mixed-Up Mother Goose" movement is more typical for keyboard games and more intuitive for children: you have to hold the arrow to go on. In 1990 "Mixed-Up Mother Goose" it's yet something different: pretty much like the 1987 version, but if you keep pressing an arrow for a longer while, you won't stop immediately when you let go.
The game also has a certain big ideological flaw I have already mentioned: strong and annoying gender stereotyping. Just look at the kids: while it's possible to choose a child with different appearance and ethnic background, all the girls wear pink and all the boys wear blue. These two colors have become quite a symbol of children being locked up in their gender like in cages... The toys in children's rooms which are briefly seen at the beginning and end of the game are also mostly stereotypical, gender-conforming. This is exactly what I call "sexual hyperdimorphism". Sexual dimorphism means differences in appearance between males and females of the same species: female and male ducks have plumage of different colors, male tigers are larger than females, men are usually taller and more hairy than women... and so on. Sexual hyperdimorphism means an addition of differences which don't exist naturally: more and more elimination of body hair as a condition of "beauty" for women, aggression against men who wear feminine clothes... also examples such as all this pink-and-blue system and often extreme division of toys "for girls" and "for boys". It's a pity that "Mixed-Up Mother Goose" uses this system so uncritically... Pink-and-blue won't be gone until "Mixed-Up Mother Goose Deluxe", the final version of the game. Anyway, I think it's good for games to include at least a bit of non-stereotypical gender images (for example non-stereotypical toys the characters use) - it isn't so readily noticed, but can still give an important message: you can be who you want to be, you can wear pink or blue or canary yellow, you can play with dolls or microscopes - as long as you are happy with your life and this is what counts.

The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, this game is not easy to find, it's much rarer than the original or even the second remake. However, if you can find it, it's worth trying out - graphics are better and music is even dramatically better than in the 1987 version.

DOS · by Nowhere Girl (8680) · 2013

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awesome game Carlene Clark Apr 22, 2008

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Game added by Servo.

Amiga added by POMAH. Apple IIgs, Apple II added by vedder.

Game added May 22, 2006. Last modified May 29, 2024.