Welp, I’m back. Sorry for the long wait. Vacation and such. Went pretty well, got some cheap souveniers, read a couple of great books, including The Guide To Classic Adventure Games from Hardcore Gaming 101. If you have a Kindle, pick it up. Lot of great coverage in there, including stuff you may not have normally touched, including the Scooby Doo adventure game. Yes, it exists. No, it’s not terrible, surprisingly.
But that’s not the point! You’re here for a game, and I’ve got one for you today. A little short, but still.
So, Mecc. They’re the dudes behind Oregon Trail. You know, you have died of dysentry, peaporany and chease and all that. Although that thing spawned from the Apple II version, and not the more modern, fancier DOS and Macintosh version. If you’ve ever been on a school computer at any point in the 90’s, that’s all I really need to say. If you haven’t… well, door’s over there.
So this is Super Munchers, third in the series of Munchers games, including Word Munchers and Number Munchers. In my experience, this game isn’t really as well known or talked about quite as much as those games. You know, as talked about in the very bustling edutainment game discussion community.
So how do you play Super Munchers? Well, let’s let the game explain.
Basically? It’s educational Pac-Man.
That weird green thing with the underbite is you, The Muncher. As The Muncher, you have to look at the category at the top of screen, like ‘animals’. Move the Muncher around the squares on the screen, and hit the Space Bar over anything that looks like an animal. Find a correct one, you munch it and get some points. Get it wrong, and you die. Education is pretty hardcore, sometimes. Clear the board of all the right answers to move onto the next one.
These are the Troggles, and they’ll be filling in for the ghosts for this particular Pac-Man clone. They start off pretty easy to avoid, with only one coming at the time. The square with the brackets around are safe zones, and Troggles can’t enter them. Well, until they dissapear, anyway, which they tend to do. Also, Troggles will also ONLY enter from the edges of the screen, and the game will warn you beforehand, so you don’t usually have to worry about getting ganked by one. As you go through the game, they do get faster, with more of them, up to three, appearing on screen at one time.
In the previous Muncher games, there was pretty much nothing you could do about the Troggles besides run like hell from them. In this game, they added the Munchmeter you see on the bottom right, that fills up when you eat words. When it fills up, you get this little transformer thing that shows up somewhere on the screen. Touch it, and…
As Super Muncher, you’re able to kill troggles just by touching them. You can also instantly see which words are the right ones by pressing ‘V’, although this will use up more of your steadily draining Munchmeter. Once it runs out, you’re back to being regular, mortal Muncher. Eating words will slow down its drain, but not for forever.
Also, every 3 levels, you get a little minigame. Well, honestly, minigame might be a little too kind. Let’s take a look at the first one. You have to identify a certain disguised troggle. Well, this could be a challenge if they
OK, I guess it’s asking a lot to expect anything beyond that for an edutainment game, but still. This isn’t for the special needs kids, and after a level that asks you to find all the ‘solids at room temperature’, this is just kind of insulting, even for the target audience.
And so, the game repeats. The troggles get a little faster each level, but that’s about all that changes. Unless you get a subject you happen to be particularly bad at, like me with science, you’ll mostly likely just keep on going until you get bored (most likely) or the Troggles end up killing you.
So that’s Super Munchers. It’s honestly probably one of the best edutainment games I know of, for how simple it is. It’s not as addictive or as challenging as Pac-Man, and it probably won’t teach you anything you don’t already know, but it’s decent for what it is.
There was also a remake of Number Munchers for Windows in 1995, and