Disclaimer: The images on this page are from the "Electronics Boutique 1996 Spring CD". This was a promotional CD catalog given out at Electronics Boutique & Waldensoftware stores in early 1996. The images are only 256 color because that was the depth of the source files (keep in mind this was 1996).
"Edutainment" was one of those made-up words that gave me the urge to punch someone every time I heard it. "Web 2.0" has that same effect on me today. Like "Web 2.0" it was a term that didn't really mean anything. You don't need a special "Web 2.0" browser, computer, or internet connection (although I bet I could make a mint selling all three); it's just a stupid term to re-label an existing technology. "Edutainment" had a similar problem. Since the first home computer there had been educational games. Apparently calling something "educational" made it sound boring so a new, stupid, term was invented to re-brand existing software. The term would later go out of fashion and these types of programs disappeared from the EBGames selection. Now they're mostly relegated to the $9.99 jewel case sections of office and big box retailers.
I guarantee there is nothing educational about the Toy Story Animated Storybook.
Typing Tutor 6 was not as popular as the Mavis Beacon series from the day. Strangely, that program is not represented here.
Just Me and My Dad was one of the many interactive storybooks available at the time. They were generally the most popular educational items we had.
The Kids Fun and Learning Pack was a general assortment of loose CD titles. These became a popular way to distribute lackluster programs starting around 1995. There were a few game collections like this too.
The Mac version of previous collection.
The Kids Creativity Pack contains something called the Christmas Ornament Workshop which actually sounds slightly appealing to me.
Jumpstart Toddlers is for kids aged 18 months to 3 years. From experience, this is an effort in futility.
In the days before Spongebob we had Nick Jr. Play Math! with its generic mascot.
Kids Bugs in Boxes was apparently based off a book.
I have a Busytown game for the Sega Pico (yeah I have a Sega Pico, two of them actually) and my kid likes it. No idea if this PC version is related.
Nickelodeon's Director's Lab seems like something with the potential to be alright.
Those Carmen Sandiego games sure have lasted. I played them back on the Apple ][ when I was a kid. I have a couple stashed away for when mine is old enough.
The Adventure of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny.. well, I don't really have anything to say here. In the books one of them gets beat by their father with a switch, that would make a killer mini-game.
If you want the gym teacher to prep you for the SAT then look no further than the Personal Trainer series.
Maxis used to publish a number of educational titles like Marty and the Trouble with Cheese. It boasts voice recognition as a feature, look out Nintendo DS.
Sim Town was basically Sim City for Dummies. Come to think of it.. I probably would enjoy that more than whatever the latest Sim City is.
"Spectacular multimedia effects and different formats enhance play in 45 dazzling games." I can point out three things in that description that indicate GeoSafari is awful.
Widget Workshop looks to be a sophisticated version of Mouse Trap.
The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain sports "over a thousand wild, wacky brain-busting adventures". So maybe it's like WarioWare or something.
I obviously haven't played any of these games so apologies for the weak commentary. We'll wrap things up with The Incredible Machine which, like the aforementioned Widget Workshop, sounds like an Mouse Trap game.