Available on: SNES
Developer(s): The Software Toolworks
Even after two commercial and critical disasters, The Software Toolworks still thought they could accomplish something with educational Mario games. In fall of 1994, they released a series of three more Mario games, in the vein of simple preschool edutainment that was very common and popular on home computers. Only these three games were EXCLUSIVE to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capitalism is no longer an issue - stupidity is. The SNES was meant for playing GAMES!
At least they're being honest this time
|Exactly the same what I thought just before I lost |
my virginity. Just kidding.
So, these three games are all exactly the same. The sprites are a kind of a mixed bag - this time, they aren't just imports from Super Mario World, instead they're literally from all over the place. The games probably look fine to a kid - there are lots of colours and funny faces to simulate a pleasant learning environment. The very narrow list of songs once again contains about a million remixes of different themes from Super Mario World, and they're really starting to get on my nerves; it'll probably be a long time before I take on the masterpiece again, all thanks to The Software Toolworks.
Since the games were made for very young people who might not have learned to read yet - and Fun with Letters doesn't really teach them anything concrete either - full digitized speech is a notable feature in all three games. Back when the games were released, it must've sounded so grand and fancy, but today, it strongly reminds me of the awkward waiting room slur in Twin Peaks. "YOU PICked THAAA foUR!", "YOU PICked THAAA da-da, DDDEE, DINOsaur!", and so on.
|He hid his shroom stash.|
Anyway, getting back to the subject, what exactly did The Software Toolworks and Mindscape hope to accomplish by releasing three separate games targeted specifically and exclusively for a very small, and fast-changing group? Home computers would've been one thing, you could program any game in your very own home if you had the skill and the hardware to do it - but producing three commercial Super Nintendo games and releasing them back to back wasn't very cost-efficient in my opinion. Moreover, these games are so small they could've easily fit into one single 24 Mbit cartridge, and be released under the collective title of Preschool Fun. Again, I'm not making any statements whether the games are fun or not. I must compliment the developers for one thing, though - at least they didn't disguise these as real Mario games.
|I would seriously go insane sooner or later if |
Toadstool was my preschool teacher.
After Fun with Numbers, Fun with Letters and Preschool Fun, The Software Toolworks' licensing agreement with Nintendo expired - about fuckin' time. Today, you can get perfectly fine educational programs for your home computer, completely free of charge. 17 years ago, you had to pay an approximate total of 200 dollars for this series of three games, that your kid never played after his first day in school. Not so fun with numbers, huh? Har har! Oh, how the world turns.
Graphics : 6.5
Sound : 4.0
GameRankings: 59.00% (Fun with Letters), 54.50% (Preschool Fun)
All three games were released exclusively in the United States.