Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion
LucasArts has Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion taken their Rebel Assault engine and made it into a children’s game called Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion (ages 5-11). The two games share similar play-action. Instead of zipping around in a fighter firing deadly laser blasts at minions of an evil empire, Mortimer has you zipping around on a big talking snail firing “revitalization” blasts at animals which have been turned to stone. Mortimer is more fun than most educational games, because you get to fly around and shoot things. On the other hand, Mortimer is less educational than most educational games, and it is certainly less fun than most non-educational games. The learning part of the experience comes in two forms: Mortimer’s informative asides as you fly around (he’ll drop a tidbit of information about a type of tree, for example, as you soar past), and “identify the animal” quizzes at the end of each scenario, which teach basics about animals’ habits, lives, and characteristics. Spliced in are Hollywood-quality animation segments which further the plot, involving a broken medallion and an evil ex-disciple who turns animals to stone. But what it really comes down to, time and again, is flying and shooting. For some real action, choose a gamer’s game, not an educational one. For a disc that will both teach and entertain, we recommend something that makes the learning itself fun – not something that sticks in pockets of fun between the learning. They’re out there (for example, The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis).
– August 1996