Mario Is Missing

Read the review here.

“Anyone who works hard enough at it could find plenty to say about any particular video game, but for this title, there are three enormous, glaring, obvious flaws that demand to be pointed out…”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Is there such thing as a fun educational video game? Now, I want to make this very clear: I believe learning can be fun. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that learning inherently is fun (seriously, acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills is awesome, especially in fields you are passionate about and/or enjoy). The issue is setting, presentation, and implementation (okay, that is probably more than one issue). School, as the obvious example, does not always make learning fun, but I am not going to touch the issue of overall public education any time soon, and never on this site.

But why can there not be a fun educational video game? I have my own opinions, and I will let you draw your own conclusions, but I think Mario Is Missing is a key example in the history of failed attempts at home console edutainment. When you sacrifice elements of challenge in favor of elements of quasi-education (read the full review to find out why Mario Is Missing systematically fails even at being education), the result is a watered-down mess that cannot properly be called a “game” any longer. Yuck.

3 Responses to “ Mario Is Missing ”

  1. […] have covered my rational distaste for “educational” “games” elsewhere. Suffice to say: This is not a fun game, it is bad, and I refuse to spend any more time on […]

  2. […] This sounds like a solid foundation for what could have been a revolutionary NES cartridge. Instead, we get profound disappointment. It is perhaps only a sad sidenote that among the very few other titles that have up-button functionality to traverse to another side-scrolling street would be, oh yes, Mario Is Missing. […]

  3. […] is ugly. If it is not fun, it is not fun, and should not be given a high score. Period. 3) See my Mario Is Missing blog post. Captivating stuff, […]

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