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Release Year: 1995
Features: Discovery Channel Multimedia Genre: Educational
Publisher: Micrsoft Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
Platform: Windows 95, PC Video Game Series: Connections
Sub-Genre: Puzzles UPC: 0743252244029
Connections, subtitled "It's a mind game!," is from Some Entertainment and Discovery Channel Multimedia and expands on James Burke's three series Connections, Connections 2, and Connections 3. The premise is based on a fractured universe where chaos is the rule and order is the exception. Knowledge of science, invention, and history is necessary in order to re-establish broken links between people, events, and ideas found in mankind's historical past.
These series show how common household items and ideas that are used by us everyday can be connected in strange and unusual ways -- ways that most histories never show. As an example, players must reconstruct chains of connections showing how cubic zirconium diamonds are connected to pencils, phosphorus, and carbon paper, among other things.
Players must construct chains to show how they are interconnected and make it strong enough to keep it from disintegrating. When players find things that fit into the "web" (fabric of the chain construction), James Burke appears and tells them about the items and what other items might be related to it, albeit in general terms.
Publisher Discovery Channel
Product Key Features
Release Year 1995
Game Name Connections
Additional Product Features
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating E-Everyone
Control Elements Trackball, Mouse, Keyboard
Game Name Special Features Solve Mind-Bending Puzzles Set in a Number of Unusual Environments
History when I was young was all about Kings and Queens, and what Kings and Queens got up to. So one had to learn facts like in 1184 King Nosmo built Brighton Pavilion. In my mind's eye I saw a noble king with a diamond studded crown on his head, and a trowel in his hand. History in schools nowadays focuses on how did the ordinary people live, what was their life like, rather than who was on the throne. Arguably the name of the ruler doesn't affect most folk that much - we're more affected by technological changes. The stirrup, the water closet, the transistor; these have changed the way we live forever.
James Burke is an acclaimed broadcaster with thought-provoking programmes on society and technology. He did two series of "Connections", a science-history series. Each programme took a series of apparently unrelated events and situations and wove them together to show the often bewildering way social and technological change happens. As Burke noted, "There is always a connection but, if the link has never been made before, nobody knows it's there." The second series of Connections done for The Learning Channel was followed by a CD-ROM game in 1996, which this review is about. Took us some time to get there didn't it?
Reconnect the web
The plot has the web of technological history dislocated by some sing evil-minded bad person. Where would we be without sing evil-minded bad persons making life more interesting? Links need to be found for different chains of technological developments so the web can be mended. Your quest will involve visiting five different worlds, with themes ranging from Wild West through Medieval, to Egyptian. This is a traditional adventure game, with no dead ends or risk of dying.
You play from a first person perspective, and will encounter a range of characters from wild west gamblers to Egyptian cooks with surprisingly modern kitchens. And James Burke, too, who pops up at various points to guide you on your way. This is a slideshow game with pre-rendered graphics - the graphics are a little dated perhaps, but compensated for by the gentle spirit of whimsy throughout.
Complete the puzzles
The puzzles are conventional adventure fare, mostly easy but there are one or two tricky points. There's a combination lock you have to do exactly the right way for it to open. There's a slider puzzle which is a little dubious. There is a maze so have pen and paper to hand. There is also a good in-game hint system which will do the puzzles for you if required. Most of the puzzles are inventory based, and you will grow attached to the way the game tells you "Not yet" when you try something that doesn't work.
Connections can count as edutainment, but friendly unobtrusive edutainment. As you find the missing links James Burke will be ready to comment on them and bring history to life. This is the kind of history that really appeals to me - understanding the hidden connections that have made our world the way it is. But this is an optional part of the game and you can treat it just as entertainment.
It comes on two CDs and you always need to start with the first CD. Options do not include sub-titles but you can choose your gender (didn't notice anywhere it mattered), adjust the volume, and choose whether hints are on or off. Save games are unlimited.
Format: Win 98 95 3.1,Mac
Condition: Brand New OS
Release Date: Dec 31, 1995
- UPC 743252244029
- Brand Discovery Channel
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