|This article is about a/an game in the JumpStart franchise.|
|JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain|
December 2, 1996
JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain, or simply just JumpStart 3rd Grade, is a JumpStart game that was made by Knowledge Adventure in 1996. As the title suggests, the game is intended to teach a third grade curriculum.
Set in a retro-futuristic universe, the game concerns Polly Spark, the bratty daughter of an apparently very wealthy inventor, & her attempt to alter history so that her inane answers to a history quiz she failed will be correct. To do this, she sends twenty-five reprogrammed robots back in time &, with her father conveniently away on a business trip, she takes over Mystery Mountain, the literal "mountain mansion" where she & her father live. The goal of the game is to help Botley, the robot assigned to keep Polly under control, save the world by retrieving each of the twenty-five robots & bringing them back to the present.
A sign-in screen appears after the monitor has been activated. The user signs his or her name & presses Enter or Return. The interior of the school on the hill is seen. The TransQuizzer is on the desk. Once the user clicks on the TransQuizzer, Botley comes hurling through the window & talks to the user about Polly. He takes the user to Mystery Mountain & Polly appears on screen; she talks to Botley about her failed Hisotry test. The doorbell is activated by the user who must repeat what was heard in order to get into the mountain or house as Polly calls it. The game is similar to Simon Says.
Once all the robots are rescued, Polly reveals her ultimate plan to use Botley for the extra credit question, which more than makes up for the entire quiz. For the extra credit question, Polly said that the universe began with Botley (she calls this the "Big Bot") and she therefore wants to send him all the way back in time to the Big Bang, which would cause him to be destroyed. Unfortunately for Polly, it's at this point that her father arrives home from the Inventors' Convention. Professor Spark and Ms. Winkle, via a video monitor, agree to let Polly take the quiz again, though Ms. Winkle states that she can't give Polly a test with the same questions twice. Therefore, Ms. Winkle decides to give her a quiz on Latin, which does not please Polly.
The storyline ends at this point, but the user can continue playing the Mountain's games for study purposes or for fun. The user can also enter the Time Machine Mission Control and view the "robot roost" without acquiring the Invention Points that would otherwise be required, but the Wheel of Invention cannot be played nor can the Time Machine be entered.
Each of the game's twenty-five missions (one for each robot that must be rescued) begin with the user selecting one of Polly's questions from the TransQuizzer. On the TransQuizzer, Ms. Winkle poses a historical question of Polly and Polly gives a surreally humorous answer. Polly then appears on a monitor to state which robot she has sent back in time for the question and to list the four Mission Clues that need to be found for the mission.
Botley, using his powerful sensory device, then determines which games need to be played in order to retrieve the needed Mission Clues. Once all the Mission Clues have been collected, the user will still need to collect 1000 Invention Points in order to enter the Time Machine Mission Control.
Once inside the Time Machine Mission Control, the user has to get past the Wheel of Invention in order to acquire a Time Key and enter the Time Machine itself, though Polly has apparently reprogrammed the Wheel so it's not just a quiz, but rather a quiz show called "Pollywood Squares." Here, Monty Monitor quizzes the user with questions that provide the point in time where Polly has sent the missing robot and which eventually reveal the correct answer to Polly's original test question.
After this activity is completed, the user enters the Time Machine and travels back in time to retrieve the robot and bring it back to the present, where the rescued robots are deposited in an area called the "robot roost." After the robot has been rescued, the user begins a new mission by selecting another question from the TransQuizzer. The game continues in this manner until all twenty-five robots are returned to the present, at which point the game is completed.
- Main article: Missing Robots
Except for the opening scenes, which takes place inside Ms. Winkle's classroom, the entire game is set within Mystery Mountain. The games found within the Mountain are as follows:
- The Front Door
- The First Floor
- The Second Floor
- The Third Floor
- Numbers and Values
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Earth Science
- Life Science
- Visual Arts
- The game takes a longer time to complete than the other JumpStart games as the user must play at least four different games for each of the twenty-five missions, totaling an absolute minimum of one hundred games in all. Such lengthy gameplay was not the norm for JumpStart games made in the mid-1990s.
- This is not the first educational game to feature a schoolteacher named Ms. Winkle. In 1994, Abudoe Software released an educational computer game called Ms. Winkle's Class, which, much like the earlier products in Knowledge Adventure's own JumpStart series, attempted to create an enjoyable educational experience in a classroom setting.