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Caution: Ducks At Play

Donald Duck's Playground Once upon a time in those early days of life before I owned a Nintendo Entertainment System, my parents bought me my first computer.  That Commodore 64 set me on the path of enjoying all things technical, and while it was intended for educational and productivity purposes, I also had plenty of games to keep me entertained until I learned about Super Mario Bros.  One of the primitive titles that I enjoyed was an edutainment product featuring Disney's famous family of ducks.  In control of Donald Duck, I was tasked with performing odd jobs in order to buy playground equipment for nephew Huey to enjoy.  All these years later I still have vivid memories of Sierra On-line's 1986 diversion Donald Duck's Playground, and I'm not the only one.  Alligator Juice has taken a look back at the computer game that taught a generation of youngsters how to count money and make change.

Sadly, whoever made this game thought it might be kind of nice to make it all educational for kids, in addition to being fun. Blah. So because of that, when you buy something, you have to count out your money yourself (okay, so this is how it is in the real world, BUT...) if you don't have exact change, you also have to get your own change from the cash register! This sucks. I mean, the store obviously has a cashier who's standing right there (hey, Goofy), why must Donald count it? (And no, you can not rob the cash register. I tried.)

Mere words can't do it justice.  Check out this video of a ten-minute blast through the game.  Would you believe that I still have the ultra-happy playground theme stuck in my head after all this time?

Matched with the map-reading skills I learned in Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood and the planetary adventure knowledge I gained in Mickey's Space Adventure, I felt I was ready for anything at that age. Twenty-some years later I'm still waiting for the chance to follow a chart to a Martian general store.  If you wish that you had my intergalactic map and money skills, head on over to former Sierra creative talent Al Lowe's place to download all three titles.  Yes, the same Al Lowe who later created the adult Leisure Suit Larry series.  Talk about moving to the other end of the spectrum, eh?