Thursday, 31 August 2017

GROSSOLOGY


All throughout the 80s and 90s, edutainment games were at their prime on PC and Mac. Series like Reader Rabbit, Jumpstart, and Carmen Sandiego truly shined out of the slew of kids’ titles. Most were quite tame in their content, to obviously be appropriate for children. Although, there was one title released in 1997, under the name of Grossology.

Before its game release by Appaloosa Interactive Corporation in 1997, Grossology already had a presence in libraries as a children’s book in 1992. It proved successful enough to warrant the computer game, a tv series, and even a highly-popular traveling exhibit. So, what makes Grossology stand out, amongst other edutainment titles? It’s crass, in terms of children’s games.

As soon as one boots the game up, they’ll already get a taste of what they’re in for. A jingle begins with the lyric line “It’s time to learn about secretion.” If that’s not enough, the title screen shows a small baby projectile vomiting… there’s also fake vomit plastered to the original game’s case!

The game starts in the “Main Hall” classroom, where you’re abruptly introduced to your guide and/or cool cat “Ginger Vitis.” The options Sound Lab, Gross-Out, Sing-Along, and Developer’s Lab (that last one’s little more than a note pad, so I won't bother talking about it) are available at your disposal. To the left of them, displays a human body map.

Sound Lab is essentially a music maker, with guts. Farts, burps, and gurgles are one’s compositional wonder workers. There’s not too much to say about it. The next option, Gross-Out, isn’t accessible until you’ve essentially scoured every piece of information in the game. So, let’s get on to Sing-Along.

If you were ever a child of toilet humor and had access to the internet, there was a good chance you enjoyed funny songs and sounds of farts and other bodily functions. Well, this CD-ROM is a goldmine of inappropriate songs for your inner-child to giggle at. The Sing-Along feature contains these songs: Scab Joy, Stuffed Up, Mama Mia!, Ice Scream Spit, Excuse Me, Nature Calls, Pimple Explosion, Sympathetic Heaver, and Science Project. Being easily amused, children most likely spent plenty of time in this area.

Now on to the main meat of the game, the Body Map. The BM contains 11 different labs to choose from. The labs consist of Zits, Boogers & Snot, Spit & Saliva, Burps & Belches, Barf, Poop Diarrhea & Farts, Pee, Scabs Wounds & Blisters and B.O. Sweat & Smelly Feet (these can also be accessed through the Barf Bag “Campus Map”, on the bottom right). Each lab will have a distinct instructor that will give you the rundown of the subject at hand. This is where the game shines, because of its hilariously-bad voice acting and interesting information.

In terms of entertainment though, the labs will have an interactive model and game for you to mess around with. After you answer a question correctly, only then will you be able to play the games. Most of the games are simply clones of existing games.

The Scab game is Othello, the Burp game is Simon Says, the Booger game is Kaboom!, the Poop & Farts game is simply pinball (yeah, if you ever thought Space Cadet Pinball lacked raspberries, look no further), the Body Odor game is Concentration, the Pee game is Pipe Dreams and the Zits game is Tetris. The Saliva and Barf games I have no idea.

Through its charmingly-stereotypical characters and cool facts, Grossology serves as an appealing children’s edutainment title even to this day. Overall, despite its fruitless efforts at “games”, this CD-ROM has enough content to keep kids entertained and laughed out.

The fact that there exists a CD-ROM with a sound clip of a grown man exclaiming “anus” should be enough of a reason to check this out.


To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 319 Mb.  Install Size: 535 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Grossology is © Appaloosa Interactive Corporation
Cover Design and Installer created by me
Review by Austin Brewer

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Gahan Wilson's Ultimate Haunted House  I Love Learning  Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Topsy Turvy Games

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thanks as always! This isn't one I'm familiar with; reminds me a bit of a children's book I loved as a kid (but can't remember the name of for the life of me) about these little troll-looking people that were really gross (the book was about hygiene).

    Any chance of seeing Logical Journey of the Zoombinis? That was my favorite edutainment game as a kid, along with Math Blaster Episode 1: In Search of Spot.

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    1. I remember the Grossology books too! I'm sure there were a few copycats.

      IIRC Zoombinis got a Android/iPad remake but I've not researched that much into it. Math Blaster may come at some point in the future.

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  3. There is a remake of Logical Journey of the Zoombinis on Steam (it's just called "Zoombinis": http://store.steampowered.com/app/397430/Zoombinis/) but it's missing some things, has a few bugs, and isn't quite as charming as the original in my opinion. I prefer the original, but it's 16-bit only :/

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    1. That sadly means I won't include it on the site. I don't want to tread on the toes of developers still supporting their games, even if they do it poorly.

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    2. Fair enough, that's totally understandable. I guess I'm just going to have to break down and teach myself how to do a 3.1/95 instance within DOSBox.

      If you get happen to get some free time and want some other ideas, here are a few games you might be interested in:

      Biosys
      Burn:Cycle
      Panic In The Park

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    3. I'm happy to report that I spent a little time "reverse engineering" your setup for The Dark Eye and got Panic In The Park installed and running well! I even copied your trick with Win.ini to get it to launch on start. Neato!

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    4. That's good news! The problem I have is that there's a mass load of games I want to add to the site, it's getting a bit overwhelming. Out of those three you suggested, I reckon Burn Cycle will be the most likely to appear (I've played it before) but don't discount the other two. They're now on my request list.

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    5. Oh, I'm sure you've got quite a backlog, so no worries! Looking at your stuff as examples has got me started in the right direction so hopefully I can get myself sorted on the stuff I'm interested in. Guess I'll need to try W95 next.

      I've actually got Burn:Cycle running now, but I've run into an issue with weird flickering/flashing whenever it starts the transition to a new FMV sequence - it's just a split second but it happens basically any time it starts a new animation, so it's pretty annoying. I've tried changing the output renderer, the CPU core, cycles, nothing's worked so far. It's still playable, but it's bothersome. If you mess around with it and come up with a way to resolve that, let me know.

      Thanks again for all your work!

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    6. Using Daum with Output=direct3d seems to resolve it so I guess I'll just go with that. I normally just use regular old DOSBox.

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