Mixed-Up Mother Goose

Moby ID: 758
Conversion (official) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

Mixed-Up Mother Goose is a classic "Sierra-style" adventure game for kids, based on the various classic nursery rhymes (Humpty Dumpty, etc.). All the rhymes from all over the land have gotten mixed up, and it is up to the child to find the missing pieces and give them back to who needs them.

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Credits (Atari ST version)

4 People

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Graphics by
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Average score: 22% (based on 1 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 4 reviews)

Not the prettiest version, but its a wonderful early DOS game for young kids.

The Good
Very simple interface that doesn't require any reading once you've started the game. My 3 year old daughter loves playing this on my IBM 5150 from 1987, and she can use a joystick to play the whole game. She can pick out her name but she can't really read, so she knows when characters are talking to her, but since the game uses pictures and music to explain what you need to do, a kid can rely on their memory and ability to navigate to play the game without needing much help.

This is WONDERFUL, and I wish there were more games like this available for my daughter to play on vintage computers. It seems like the majority require reading abilities even though they are seemingly for really young kids (Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh,

The Bad
The music obviously isn't as good from a PC speaker as it is in the later versions with MIDI music, and the latest versions with high quality recorded music with spoken lyrics. Also there's just less animation than the later versions... but lets face it, this is a really old game from a time when DOS was not the most common computer gaming platform.

The Bottom Line
A great adventure game for young kids that has memorable scenery and characters, and is accessible for all ages and rewarding.

It also refreshingly does not contain any magic, ghosts or fighting. Its astounding that so few game developers over the years could figure out how to make a game without stuffing those things down our throats, even for young kids' games.

I highly recommend this game, but mostly if you're planning to play it on vintage hardware and are interested in helping a kid to appreciate the early days of computer games. The graphics and music of later versions are much more appealing for the majority of kids, but since they are mouse oriented they probably aren't as easy for really young kids to play.

DOS · by Joe Nuzzo (5) · 2017

A nice kids game that has an easy-to-use interface and some interesting mechanics

The Good
This 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 Bad
Roberta knows how to make a kid's game, so I have nothing to complain about.

The Bottom Line
Mixed-up Mother Goose is a children's game that features some popular nursery rhymes that I grew up with. The game has children finding objects and bringing them to their respective owners, and only then will they be allowed to listen to the rhyme in question. Nice little animations are played, and the game features some interesting mechanics as well such as random object locations and the ability to select your appearance. As I mentioned before, Sierra is the only company who released a Mother Goose game; and children who are fascinated with these nursery rhymes will love playing this.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2012

One of the best supposedly-educational titles I've ever played.

The Good
I really like this game... I played it on my XT when I was 8 or so, then got the CD-ROM rerelease (which is rather rare) with my 386 and played it again. It is an excellent game, great for kids like the one I used to be, with good graphics, good music, great premise and a couple of hours worth of gameplay. It's obviously aimed at children, because - quite frankly - no adult in his right mind would actually play it, but it fulfills its intended purpose quite well.

The Bad
The controls are horribly minimalistic (which is reasonable considering it's a kids' game) and the game just plays the same every time, so there's not really much replay value.

The Bottom Line
Still an excellent game I recommend for all parents (and yes, Jim, that includes you ;-))

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 2000

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


All object in the game were randomly placed every new game, except the watering can for some weird reason: it was always at the same place.


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Related Sites +

  • ScummVM
    supports the DOS, Amiga and Apple IIgs versions of Roberta Williams' Mixed-Up Mother Goose under Windows, Linux, Macintosh and other platforms.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 758
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Mats Rade.

Amiga added by Picard. Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Apple II added by Eli Tomlinson. Apple IIgs added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Erwin Bergervoet, Macs Black.

Game added January 19, 2000. Last modified June 16, 2024.