I remember this weird computer game my school made us play in first grade. This would have been the 1999 to 2000 school year, and the game was very primitive even for that time in terms of graphics and sound. It looked like an old DOS game and may have even been from the 80s or at least early 90s. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it, and it’s driving me crazy.
You had to go through a maze like assortment of rooms and like…click on the right objects, or find the right objects in the rooms. This would then trigger a brief matching game where the room layout temporarily left the screen and it was like you were looking at a test sheet, with the sample object on the right and options to match it with on the left. This is the only time in the whole game in which a “narrator” would read aloud the object you had selected. It was a woman’s voice and very primitively synthesized. I recall my peers and I would laugh at the way she said certain words and how unnatural her cadence was. These objects could be anything from a bee, to an ape to inanimate objects.
I remember each level was denoted by a letter of the alphabet, and your progress would be displayed as books on a bookcase as you started each new level. The layout of the rooms got more maze like and complicated as you went. On level “A” there would be only four rooms. By the time you get to “E” or “G” it’d be well over a dozen and in branching convoluted layouts. You could see the entire level, including which room you were currently in, in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The rooms had furniture in them and were modern in their aesthetic. It wasn’t like you were going through an actual maze or castle, it was like you were walking through an extremely large, complicated but otherwise everyday house.
I also remember, and this will probably sound made up, but every now and then some kind of leprechaun would come and teleport you to a different room against your control. This was often a huge inconvenience but in some cases it was necessary because in later levels there were sealed off rooms which could only be accessed via the teleport mechanic. Either way, these encounters scared the shit outta me due to how surprising it was. There was no animation to signal that the leprechaun was coming, he would just appear suddenly accompanied by a brief jingle. He wore green, had an ugly face (I recall buck teeth and half-closed eyes) I believe a purple hate made of limp cloth (as opposed to, say, a top hat) and held a pencil in one hand. When he teleported you, he’d do this creepy little wave like “bye bye” but said nothing. I call him a leprechaun for convenience’s sake but truthfully I don’t know what the hell he was supposed to be–a gnome, a fairy, a wizard, an elf?
I want to know what this game was called. I want to know what the later levels entailed. (We always started fresh every session, so I never got beyond like “H” or so.) I want to face my old fear and stare down that leprechaun again. I want to see if the later levels contain any other crazy ill-fitting design choices. Who’s to say if wizard-gnomes are a thing in this game’s universe that there won’t be dragons or trap doors in level “Y” ? And no, this isn’t a joke–everything I’ve said here is the truth and I’m deadly serious about finding this game. I’ve googled vague descriptive phrases but I cannot find it ANYWHERE and cannot for the life of me remember what it was called.
Please. if anyone out there knows what I’m describing please message me or leave a comment.
I love the beautiful photo of beautiful you! I cant help identifying the game, I have never been into computer games. And it doesn’t seem like one I remember any of my kids playing.
Dear me, Cassandra, you’ve set your readership a formidable task this time! I’ve spent quite a few hours already, scouring the internet looking for clues, so far to no avail. Even your “leprechaun” is singularly conspicuous by his absence. I’m not giving up though — it’s a fascinating area, one entirely new to me. So I shall look again from time to time. The Learning Company looked promising but it seems your mystery educational game is more primitive! Are you sure that’s all you remember about it? Can you compare it in any way to any other specific game? Could the woman have had a foreign accent? Anyway, let’s hope someone identifies it for you soon. 😉