The Shrinking Machine Room, also known as the Shrink-O-Matic, is one of the activities on the Second Floor in JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain. It is designed to teach science at a third grade level.
The Shrinking Machine Room contains a device called the Shrink-O-Matic, which can reduce anyone or anything to the size of a "medium-large molecule", and a shelf filled with specimens (natural items, such as life forms and elements) cared for by Egbert. In the game, Polly provides a hint and the user, using Egbert's analyzer, must determine which specimen her hint refers to. They do this by clicking on the specimens while holding the analyzer, causing information about that specimen to be displayed and read by Egbert. Once the correct specimen is found, the user must move it to the Shrinking Machine and click on the microscope on the floor. Botley is then shrunk down and sent into it, and the user must play a non-educational portion of the activity (known as the Fantastic Voyager in the manual), which consists of a Breakout-like game, to find the hidden Mission Clue or Invention Points, with the bar being a magnet, Botley curling up and functioning as the ball, and "molecules" (which look like colorful spheres) functioning as the blocks to break. The goal is to hit and break a single red molecule which contains the Mission Clue and Invention Points. If the user fails to catch Botley with the magnet and he falls to the bottom of the screen, they will lose a life, and will fail the activity if all lives are lost.
In each round, there are sixteen specimens on the shelf to choose from. The specimens which may appear are as follows:
- bald eagle
- boa constrictor
- fire ant
- hammerhead shark
- lava rock
- moon rock
- sand dollar
- sea anemone
- sea lettuce
- sea pen
- sea turtle
- stink bug
Difficulty level differences
The Fantastic Voyager
- Level one: On the first level, Botley bounces slowly and has 10 lives.
- Level two: On the second level, Botley bounces with medium speed and has 9 lives.
- Level three: On the third level, Botley bounces really fast and has 8 lives.
- "You have to bring a specimen over to the shrink-o-matic before it can turn on."
Digital manual description
What's in the Shrinking Room?
It seems that Polly's hidden some Mission Clues and Invention Points inside her father's scientific specimens. When you enter the Shrinking Room from the second floor of the Mountain Mansion, Polly will give you a clue that can help you identify the right specimen. There's also Egbert, the resident egghead to help you. He knows just about everything about anything in this room and will tell you if you just ask!
- To begin your work in the Shrinking Room, click on the Analyzer in Egbert's hand.
- To find out about any specimen in the specimen case, click on it.
- When you think you've got the specimen you want, hand the analyzer back to Egbert. He's kind of a neat freak.
- Now move the specimen to the platform in front of the Shrink-O-Matic.
- Click on the microscope to shrink Botley and get him ready for his fantastic voyage¾inside the specimen.
The Fantastic Voyager
Now that you've miniaturized Botley in the Shrink-O-Matic, the real fun begins! You're peering down to the molecular level of the specimen now. You've got to break away the molecules to find the object. And a shrunken Botley is your tool!
- Click your mouse to launch Botley.
- Use your mouse to move the electromagnet back and forth. You've got to aim Botley so he breaks away all the round molecules and reveals Polly's hidden Mission Clue or Invention Points.
- After you've released the prize, click on it. You can now store it in your Inventory.
- The name of the latter part of this activity is a reference to the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage.