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Educational Game - Mystery Solved

I've been meaning to write this one for a long time. It's part of my old list of articles to write from before I stopped doing anything with the blog in 2016.

So, long, long ago, I wrote a entry about some educational games at my elementary school, called Twist-A-Plotz, that I could never find any more information on. Every so often I would do searches when I remembered, and eventually I did finally find some information. Some random forum thread, where someone dug up a bunch of them and started backing them up and cracking them to remove the copy protection. It's been so long now since I meant to write this article that the forum that did the work doesn't even exist anymore, so I can't link to the discussion thread of the work, but luckily it did all get uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Turns out it's a software written by Scholastic, a series called Microzine. And the reason I couldn't find it before was because the actual Twist-A-Plotz game was just one of the apps on each Microzine disk, which also has monthly letters section and other things. And these aren't all exactly what I had in my school, either. All of these disks that were recovered and archived are Apple II software, where the school was running a network of IBM x86 machines (some 286's and some 386's). My guess, since Scholastic is the developers/publishers, is that Scholastic distributed the Microzine product to end users and schools still running Apple II machines, but also provided standalone x86 ports of the Twist-A-Plotz portions to schools that had replaced their Apple II's.

Unless my school happened to have some Apple II emulation going on on their x86 machines. Somehow, there in the mid 90s.

4/26/2021 11:15:28 AM