Year: 1985 Publisher: Nintendo Genre: Puzzle Action
Back in 1985, someone at Nintendo decided that it would be a great idea to have a Mario game wherein Mario cannot jump. Probably the sensible thing to do with someone who made that suggestion is to sit them down circle-time style and explain to them that when Mario was introduced, his name was actually “Jumpman,” and that if Nintendo hadn’t been late with the rent payments, they wouldn’t have ever thought to name him Mario. Then, in full sight of all the other employees, that employee should have been shot in the back of the head and left there as an example.
What? You seriously think I’m going to go on Ebay, Craigslist or any of the other repositories of discarded junk that exist on the internet and elsewhere, dig up an R.O.B. and play one of these games with it? I’m sorry, do I really look that stupid to you? R.O.B. was a novelty item. I had the misfortune of encountering one when I was a kid, and remember wondering what kind of individual would use a robot that played exactly two games (badly) as a substitute for friends.
John’s Rating: Gyromite (aka Robot Gyro) and Stack Up (aka Robot Block) 0.0 out of 5.0
The underlying concept of edutainment is that if you’re having fun while you learn, you will always love learning, and I’ll admit that the idea is sound. At the very least, I know that *I* enjoy learning, which has always driven me to learn pointless things that will never further my chosen career path (though at times I consider deviating to something more cosmopolitan than the legal profession such as concierge, game show contestant, or crazy homeless guy).
I digress. Allow me to introduce you to a sound argument against the proliferation of edutainment.
I’ve been playing Donkey Kong since my Atari days, and Donkey Kong Junior since only shortly thereafter (the aforementioned Gordon owned it, and I was thrilled by the delightful simian action it presented). I will also state that my mother, being of sound mind, never made the mistake of purchasing for me any game with “Math” in the title. So, with that in mind – namely that my childhood was untarnished by this game – this awful programming turd actually retroactively damaged my memories. I think I might actually like Donkey Kong less because of this.
So you’re a monkey and you solve math problems by competing with a second player. There really isn’t a single player mode, which is fine – you won’t want one anyway. That’s not to say you’ll want to play this with your friends, mind you. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you play this with someone, you’re legally obliged to refer to them as your “victim.”
John’s Rating: All in all, I give this game a 1.0 out of 5.0, but only because I already decided that if something can be reasonably classified as a “game,” I shall be obliged to rate it at least a 1.0.
Dark JCO’s Rating: I can’t believe that this is even classified as a game. It doesn’t have an ending screen or a single-player mode. It’s barely playable as a multiplayer game. If you want to teach people math, just teach math! 1.0 out of 5.0.
Lord Nightmare’s Rating: I like Donkey Kong Junior Math. It’s colorful and interesting. I like Math. I like little monkeys that climb the ropes and stuff. I just can’t find anyone who will play it with me. e^πi out of 5.0