Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Grown-Ass Man Plays: JumpStart 3rd Grade

Nostalgia. We all have those relics of our childhood that instantly bring us back to the halcyon days of yore. The days when you could spend all day sitting in front of the TV eating Spaghetti-O's and watching cartoons. Well, I'm doing that now, but it seemed better back then.

JumpStart 3rd Grade is one of those things for me. It was an educational PC game for the 7-9 crowd. And instead of being shitty, like most things you associate the word "educational" with, I for some reason have fond memories of it. I never beat it, and I don't expect I will now, but how much ass can I kick at this game as a man in his twenties?

This game is essentially a simple point an click Adventure game with a series of mini games to play to get a list of MacGuffins to advance the story enough to play more mini games and get more MacGuffins and so on.

We begin the game in front of the 3rd Grade. Yes, this school is dedicated entirely to this one year of academic learning.

School Motto: If you pass,  fuck you.

Upon clicking on the door I am greeted by the sign in computer thing. Here you have to sign in, because no doubt you have tons of unauthorized eight year olds trying to sneak in here to learn. For old times sake, I registered with the same name I did all those many years ago.

Of course now such things only produce a few seconds of laughter.

I enter the school and there's no one else there. So, being alone in a classroom I of course try to fuck shit up as much as I can. Clicking on various things will make them flip out in various nonsensical ways. A pen will fly off like a rocket, a clock will use it's own "hands" like a bow and arrow, and a light bulb will fill up with water and become an aquarium. You know, school stuff. On one of the desks is a weird looking electronic notebook thing.

You're going to introduce E = mc2 to kids still trying to figure out 8 x 2?

I grab it and and the room goes crazy. The spirits of 3rd Grade are not pleased that I moved the sacred artifact.

Geeeeettttt Ouuuuuuuttt

From in the distance, there's an explosion. Something flies through the window and into the classroom.

This is Botley, the hero of JumpStart 3rd Grade, even though all he does is whine and tell you to do stuff he could easily do. He talks to himself a little bit then shits his robot pants when he sees you there.

"Oh god, please don't kill me, frightening 8 year old! Take all my robo-bucks!"
He explains that the device in your hand is the TransQuizzer. A device so important, the future of the world depends on it. After a few seconds of thinking (which is like 1,000 years in robot time) he decides HOLY SHIT YOU CAN HELP HIM SAVE THE WORLD.

Here's the deal: The genius inventor Professor Spark left his evil lair quaint mountain home filled with diabolical doomsday machines whimsical inventions to attend a Legion of Doom inventor's convention. He assigned Botley the task of keeping an eye on his daughter, Polly.

Let me tell you guys, that little girl is a straight up bitch.

And also what I would imagine Dee Dee would become if she killed Dexter and took over his Laboratory.

Polly did shitty on a school test, so instead of not doing something retarded, she decided to use her father's time machine (that oh by the way he has) to send robots back in time to make her dumbass answers true. Botley even says the Professor programmed him not to tell anybody about the time machine.

So this guy can build a device that can tear the time space continuum a new asshole, but can't program a robot to keep its damn mouth shut?

Anyway, Polly fucked up our timeline. Everyone rides around on Pogo sticks! An Orangutan has been elected President! The Statue of Liberty is now the Statue of Licorice!!

How she managed this, I can't imagine. Even if a robot went back in time, I can't imagine how the suggestion "We should build it with licorice" is met with anything but a punch in the face. Or "Hey, that internal combustion engine thing is going nowhere, this hard, slower than walking mode of transportation is the way to go." being anything less than kick-in-the-nuts worthy. The Orangutan thing though, I don't imagine it would take too much convincing for the American public to put one in the Oval Office (hahaha, your move Daily Show).

So with that exposition out of the way, Botley whips out his jet pack and flies the two of you back to the mountain. The door inside has been locked, and that bitch Polly is the one who locked it.

She also calls Botley "Snotley". She does that throughout the entire game, calling him different names. But she runs out of real insults pretty quickly. Hotley isn't too offensive, really.

To get inside, you basically play Simon. Different parts of the door light up and play a note, and you play it back in the same order. I'd like to say I aced this part like a boss, but even all these years later this door still manages to make me feel dumb once or twice.


Even so, what kind of crappy ass security is this? That dude has all manner of crazy inventions just begging to be placed into the wrong hands, and the only thing between any semblance of order and a world ruled by super villains is a series of flashing lights that any human being old enough to be potty trained can decipher (with only a few mistakes)?

Truly, this is an inventor too busy tinkering with reality changing devices to worry about such trivial things as "door locks" and checking YES in the "Should this robot spill all your secrets?" box.

With the door open, we make our way inside.... Mystery Mountain.

Ok, so inside there's a bunch of rooms. There's a kitchen, an art gallery, and a music hall.

 First of all, we have to find a quiz disc to find out how Polly screwed everything up. Of course, with my mighty detective skills, I can see that it's super very obviously right in front of my eyes. Upon cramming it into the TransQuizzer, we're treated to a video of Polly taking the quiz. Botley describes how every quiz at that school are personalized, programed, and videotaped. Because of course the kids playing this game would demand justification for this plot device otherwise, surely.

Bullllssshhhiiitt - Hypothetical 3rd Graders

The teacher asks Polly "The Earth revolves around what?" and she's like "Me. Duh", and instead of pulling her pigtails the teacher is like "Hell yeah, A+". How does that even happen? What the hell could a robot do that could unite the world in agreement that this 8 year old girl is the center of all things. And how could the Earth revolve around her when she's on it?!

Fuck it. Like any crappy villain, Polly has given you the tools to defeat her, in the form of clues that will tell you where and when she sent her robots. Botley for some reason has a sensor that can detect these clues. He senses one in the art gallery, so off we go!

The art gallery is an art museum and art studio combined. The clue is in the virtual art collection, but the art robot, Mrs. Beasley, let's us know we can go into the gallery and draw whatever we want.

Whoa thanks Mrs. Beaz! This is like a more expensive Microsoft Paint!

Here, Polly comes around to disrupt my drawing to tell me I can get more mission points if I draw her what she wants. Do I look like someone who gives a shit about mission points?

Yes. I. Do.

So what does Polly want me to draw?

"Dicks! A lot of dicks. Like.... a garden of them."

No, she tells me a story. Long story short, she wants to see a frog jumping contest in the woods.

That is the gayest thing I've ever heard.

This is what I drew instead.

Yep, it's JumpStart 3rd Grade alright.

Somehow, that wasn't good enough for that brat. Whatever. Enough screwing around. Back at the gallery, Polly gives us a clue to find her clue. What state is famous for its peaches? Mrs. Beasley answers it with Georgia. So now we have to find a painting "by someone named Georgia". Since I'm not 8 years old, I know I'm looking for a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. I spend about two minutes looking for pictures of vaginas before I find what I'm actually looking for is a picture of her. I find it and get my clue: a postage stamp.

We're on our way.



  1. Hahahaha, ahhhh. You never fail to crack me up.

  2. Gorilla With Propellor HatAugust 21, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Sadly I got much more than just a few seconds of laughter, when I saw ShitAssFuckDamn

  3. Ahahahaha this is perfect. I remember playing this game when I was little, if only I could have done so with your commentary.

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