Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 95 / APRIL 1988 / PAGE 59

IBM Personal Computing

Donald B. Trivette

Mother Goose

The folks at Sierra On-Line have done it again. The new Mixed-Up Mother Goose is great for small children and even better for nostalgic adults—remember Jack-Be-Nimble and Little Tommy Tucker? I hadn't though about them in years.

Mixed-Up Mother Goose is an adventure game in the tradition of the King's Quest series. The idea is that all the nursery-rhyme characters—there are 18 classic Mother Goose rhymes represented—have misplaced something. Jack can't find his candlestick, Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and Mary can't find her lamb. As you gallivant around Mother Goose Land, any missing object you find automatically attaches to your character until you deliver it to the rightful owner. Reunite Jack with his candlestick, for example, and you win points.

Mixed-Up Mother Goose was designed for young children ages four and up. It's not necessary for the child to read, however. As you approach Bo Peep, for instance, a cartoon balloon appears over her head with the picture of sheep. Miss Peep pines for her sheep, as any four-year-old knows. Either the cursor or a joystick can be used to pilot your character around the land. When tests showed that small children had a heavy finger on the cursor keys, Sierra changed the program to accommodate them.

A particularly nice touch allows the child to select an icon of his or her own race and sex with which to identify. This is the only adventure game I've seen where the hero can be a black girl, if the player wishes.

The documentation and literature are equally well done. A colorfully illustrated wall poster has the text of all 18 rhymes for those of us who can't quite remember what Jack Sprat did. A user's manual has help and tips for adults and explains things like how to save sessions. I can't think of a better way to teach kids the classical nursery rhymes.

Mixed-Up Mother Goose requires a PC or compatible with 256K, CGA, EGA, VGA, or Hercules graphics (joystick and hard disk optional); both 3½- and 5¼-inch disks, copy-protected, are included. Price is $29.95.

Crossword Puzzle Winners

Congratulations to Brian Sanders of Burton, Michigan; Mary Rininsland of Dallas, Texas; and Tina Lemire of Lexington, Kentucky for submitting the first three correct answers in this column's Crossword Puzzle contest from the February 1988 issue of COMPUTE!. They'll each receive a complimentary copy of the crossword-puzzle-generating software from Wiseco Computing in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Honorable mentions go to Sue Holmer, Isabel Fernandez, Dan Rogers, and Michael Seeberger for correct answers which were post-marked a few days too late. And thanks to the rest of you who took the time to complete and send in the puzzle.

Donald B. Trivette is the author of A Quick & Easy Guide to Dow Jones News/Retrieval published by COMPUTE! Books.