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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41526)
Written on  :  Jan 01, 2005
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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Build a playground for your nephews

The Good

* A nice selection of jobs

The main aim is to build the ultimate playground for your three nephews, and to do this, you need to work shifts located on the right side of the street. What I like about this is that you don't do the same job over and over again. You can work at the airport for, say, three minutes, then continue making money at the grocery store. Once you made enough, you can then proceed to the shops opposite.

* Longer shifts = more pay

In the real world, working overtime means that you are paid more; and this also applies to Donald Duck's Playground. The shifts are measured in minutes, and eight minutes is how long you can work for. There are three difficulty settings, and each one affects the prices for certain prices and how much you get paid for a certain amount of time. The idea is for the player to start playing the game at the "Beginner" level, to get used to how the game works. Once they feel comfortable, they can focus on the "Intermediate" and "Advanced" levels.

* Freedom to play with equipment once you have purchased it

What's neat about this game is the way you can play with the equipment once you have brought it. You can spread everything over three levels. But ladders and slides become a necessity, because you can't traverse between the three levels. It is possible to buy all the items, as long as you don't have any duplicates.

* Everything fits on one screen

Unlike other versions of the game, everything fits on one screen; you don't have to walk all the way to the left side of the street every time you leave a building on the right-hand side, and vice versa. Likewise, when you enter a store you don't need to walk up to the counter to pay for items.

The Bad

* No save feature

Most simulation games, such as Sim City, lets you construct things and then save your progress; but in Donald Duck's Playground, you don't have the ability to save your game, and you are forced to complete the playground in one sitting.

* Unable to delete equipment

Also, when you have filled the entire playground and suddenly have second thoughts about the equipment you placed in a certain spot, there is no way you can delete. If you buy more equipment when you have all fifteen squares filled, the game replaces one of the equipments with the recently purchased one. You have no control over which one that should go.

The Bottom Line

Back in the eighties, it wasn't often that you find a gem from Sierra that focused on both education and strategy, with children in mind. The company, at that time, thought that to demonstrate that said gem is mainly aimed at children, they could create a game featuring Donald Duck and other Disney characters. So with the permission of Walt Disney, Donald Duck's Playground was born.

This is the only AGI-based game that Sierra released for the Commodore 64. The transition between PC to C-64 works (despite minor changes), so I don't know why they convert their adventure games that were popular at the time.

There is no doubt if Maxis had developed the game rather than Sierra, it would have been called SimPlayground.