The Learning Company: Super Solvers Games Review

By BlueZeroBlueZero


Go back in time to your childhood and remember the Super Solver series by The Learning Company. Let me help you become familiar with a very important part of my computer education. While everyone has played Oregon Trail (and loved it), the Super Solver games consistently delivered. These games can't be reviewed using my traditional approach.

The Master of Mischief, Morty Maxwell he seems to be named, is truly a tricky character.

Note that I didn’t upload these videos since I’m lazy and I own most of the games for Mac. On another side note, Mac gaming was superior in the early days of computer gaming due to Macs having powerful midi sound support through QuickTime. The same midi on the early PCs sounded much worse. Macintosh was the multimedia powerhouse until soundcards became the standard in PCs.

Super Solvers- Outnumbered / Midnight Rescue

Super Solvers Outnumbered is the game that introduced me to the series. You are in a radio tower where the Master of Mischief is going to do something evil there (maybe broadcast the game music to the world). You have to solve which room he is hiding before you go crazy from seeing robot TVs strolling the halls and electric chords roaming the inner rooms.

For Midnight Rescue, the Master of Mischief is somehow hiding inside robots. If you take a look at the video, can you tell me how he is fitting in those skinny robots? He wants to make schools disappear with invisible ink. You as a student want to thwart his plans because you like your school to exist. I like choosing the wrong robot to see the brutal death of the Sleuth. Buffo just took a victory lap…

You will begin to notice that The Learning Company is good at releasing a very similar game, but with different graphics and different educational subjects.

Super Solvers- Treasure Mountain

Super Solvers Treasure Mountain was the second one I played in the series. You solve clues and get treasure on your way to the top. Once you get to the top, you ditch your treasure into the chest, which then gives you back one piece of treasure before you decided to go back down to the bottom. Logic isn’t a strong part of this game being that it would be better to take one trip up the mountain and not take the death plunge down a ladder. I completed this game back in the day by getting all the treasures.

Super Solvers- Treasure MathStorm

Treasure MathStorm is almost exactly the same thing as Treasure Mountain except this time there is snow. I particularly like the time game because the elf pops out of the clock. The Super Sleuth is paid WAY below minimum wage in this game for solving simple riddles. He just needs time to advance. I can safely say that I beat this game 100 %.

Super Solvers-Treasure Trove

Ok. So the Master of Mischief flees Treasure Mountain and goes to an island to pollute the world. You don scuba gear and interact with very happy starfish in Treasure Trove. By some magic, the gems you collect are thrown into a magic pot which creates a bridge to the island.

The Super Solver is armed with a bubble gun which he uses to dispense enemies. He has a flashlight which he uses to pickup gems. The best part of the game is the cave where the starfish are dancing the Can-Can.

Super Solvers-Treasure Galaxy

I don’t remember much about Treasure Galaxy. Basically, it is like all the other games but in space. The main character rides a red space scooter and can zap angry looking meteors. I didn’t finish the game because I was getting tired of the formula and didn’t think the end cutscene would be gripping enough.

Super Solvers- Gizmos and Gadgets

Now here is a game that can suck your time away. For some reason, the Super Solver decides to take on Morty Maxwell who takes over the Shady Glen Technology Center. The game story consists of duels using machines to see who the best scientist is. The Super Solver has really matured since he now has teenager proportions, all gangly and thin.

Gizmos and Gadgets has a more mature for kids in 4th or 5th grade up to middle school. The object of the games is to roam multi-tiered 2D corridors collecting parts that will help you build your vehicle. So have the choice of turning on the mechanical monkeys that will steal your parts if they touch you. I choose to turn them on since without them, the game would be less challenging.

The puzzles to open doors are particularly fun to solve when they get more difficult. I like the one where you manipulate force of objects and gravity to shoot different sized balls into the target holes. There are also puzzles where you work with magnet polarity and build objects from pieces. Once you get past the easy races, these puzzles get more exciting and you may not beat them your first try.

The game is setup where you will have to mix and match parts to get the fastest or most efficient engineering structure. To keep the game fun, there are parts like spray paint and decals that have no effect on your car’s performance. In my mind, having the racing stripes makes your car go faster. Also having your car red or yellow also helps.

After you have enough parts to have a working car, blimp or whatever, you get to race Morty Maxwell. Most of the early races you could beat him if you jumped out of your vehicle and decided to run. At the later levels, the more advanced stages of the game, Morty Maxwell has better parts and will be constantly beating you by a nose if you don’t have the best parts.

The racing music is catchy and I always like seeing a trophy come out of the podium. If Morty Maxwell wins the race, he has a cool Richard Nixon style victory dance. When the Super Solver wins the race, he does his signature somersault. I progressed far when I played it on the Mac, but I don’t remember if I actually finished the game. Most likely the ending has Morty Maxwell fleeing for his life.

If you have to play only one of these games, and I am assuming you are an adult, I would probably suggest Super Solvers: Gizmos and Gadgets because it targets the middle school audience. This is by no means a criticism of the other games; they perform their goal of being easy and accessible for elementary school students. It comes down to longevity which is the weak part of these series. That’s why Oregon Trail (1 and 2) was so much fun, you wanted to know if a teacher with no money leaving in the dead of winter could make it to Oregon. I’ll have to eventually talk more about that game.

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