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Genre: Edutainment
Min OS X: 10.4

The History Channel Lost Worlds
June 24, 2008 | John Samsel

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I have always been fascinated with History. The stories from the past have it be about Ancient Greece or Rome, Colonial America or Cold War Era America, are always relevant we can see how far we have come as a people and it can be used as a tool to see where we may be headed into our future. History repeats, remember? As you might expect, I enjoy watching documentaries of the channel now simply known as History. I would even use documentaries as sources for some history classes I took, one of which was a mistake. I mentioned one idea to a professor and he laughed at me. “You dare cite the History Channel in my class! Ha! Join in class, let us belittle this student!” Alright, this is slightly exaggerated, but this professor was hardcore. Seriously, he laughed during Schindler’s List saying it was “too tame.”

The History Channel is home to a great amount of well-produced, entertaining and insightful documentaries and series. One of them is the series, Lost Worlds, which delves into ancient/forgotten/lost civilizations from time’s past. It is also a game for the Mac, The History Channel Lost Worlds. Is this a game worth exploring, or something that should be lost in the time of history?

Digging for the Truth
I begin my journey to uncover the answer to my question. I venture through the fabled “internets” until I uncover the game and the ancient documents describing the game. I decipher the text from English to English and it reveals “three truths;” Multiple game mechanics, authentic imagery, beautiful and challenging! (The exclamation is part of the original text.) I quickly excavate the game download, install it onto my Mac, and begin my journey. What comes next my shock you…

Or not…

I start the game and any enthusiasm I had sinks away faster than the Titanic. It starts off innocently, giving you access to three ‘Lost Worlds’ (Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece) with three spots for “future episodes.” Three worlds and three bonus worlds, that’s a good amount of gaming to be had. (Spoiler: They are not unlockable bonuses. They are to be expansions presumably. That is probably not a good thing.) Honestly, it does not matter which world you pick first. Whichever it is, you are given text setting the stage for the Lost World. Then you get prompted to the first of multiple game mechanics. You have the puzzle levels, as in puzzle pieces, where you assemble ancient ruins. Second, you have the spot the five differences between two ultra low-resolution pictures. Can you tell which grainy blur is different from the other grainy blur? Hit the “Hint Button.” You have five uses for each five stage block. Third, we have a “find hidden items in the image”. There’s an apple. There are the grapes. There’s the… blender? It’s probably just an ancient Greek blender… nope. What’s a modern, electric blender doing in Ancient Greece? Moving on, forth is a multiple choice question… that is actually relevant to the period. I got it wrong, oops. What’s the correct answer? The game’s moving on? The only educational part of the game leaves you in the dark if you get it wrong? Next, we have… Actually that’s it.


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