Title : Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus
Publisher : Raya Systems
Developer : Wave Quest
Genre : Educational Platformer
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1995
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $70-$100
A dinomite ASTHMA adventure. YUP! A game about a dinosaur who has asthma. What will they think of next? Here you have Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus (oh, wow...BRONCHIA...like bronchitis..or bronchial tubes. CLEVER!), on a quest to teach you all there is to know about how it's like to live with Asthma. You have to give these type of games credit. They're games with a purpose, but unfortunately they weren't trying to win any "game of the year awards". Instead, it feels like a game you'd play in middle school during computer class. Sort of like Oregon Trail.
But this wasn't the only educational game that Raya Systems pumped out. There were quite a few others that I'll unfortunately run into while reviewing all these damn games. It's certainly going to be interesting.
I have one problem already though - Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus? Sounds like he'd be a herbivore. Why does he look like a little t-rex or something. I OBJECT!
Like most educational games, they force feed knowledge and shove it right down your throat. Objectives are traditional platforming ones, but you'll be thrown to the side just so you get your little book of knowledge on the topic at hand.
Funny part is - I can't stop coughing while I write this. Go figure. How appropriate to be playing a game about asthmatic dinos.
The story behind Bronkie is actually a pretty clever one. I'm guessing it's a twist on the extinction of dinosaurs. The world was once a paradise, until a meteor slammed into the earth and sent dust everywhere...making all the dinosaurs asthmatic. Clever girl....but wait, it gets better. The dinosaurs make a wind machine to clear out the dust, but some damn TREX stole the machine and spread it's pieces all over the place. Now you have to find the pieces and start up the machine.
Why are T-Rexes always the bad guy?
You take on the role of Bronkie and his pal Trackie to clear the world of dust, and kill other dinos and learn about inhalers in the process. All while jumping around and collecting prescriptions. Yup, you collect Rx blocks. There's going to be a lot of shake my head moments.
The funny part is, the game is actually quite frustrating. Maybe it's the lack of a control scheme, or the horrible gameplay in general, or maybe it's the fact that everything seems to kill you. Not sure what it is, but at least if you're giving me an educational game, make it somewhat easy so I can find out all these facts. Why are you making me die!?
If I may be honest, the gameplay is bad..but it's not as bad as some other platformers I've played for the SNES. And you know there are a lot of horrendous ones out there. You've got your standard jump / climb / stomp / collect mechanics, with a few puzzles mixed in, but you also have special abilities for your 'ol pal Bronkie. That's right, he has a special breath attack.
Let me get this straight. You're a dinosaur...who has asthma..and you're giving him a specialized breath attack to use? How does that make sense? Maybe now we know what caused his asthma, don't you think? He's got to stop breathing weird fire breath on enemies. No wonder he needs an inhaler, it's worse than smoking.
Better yet, just boost up your powers by collecting lungs. Yup, fill up your damn lung meter so you can make your condition worse. Thankfully, everyone you run into will give you info on how to survive with critical lung issues. THANKS DINOSAUR LAND!
Like most educational games, the production value is quite limited. Visually it's pretty unappealing with pooryl designed characters, and an even worse color scheme. They chose approx three or four colors per level, and that doesn't really do much to hold my interest.
Music and sound? Meh, don't even bother. Sounds like they grabbed clips off random games and smudged them together.
One crazy thing about this game, is its value. Got to love the limited release games that are for some reason fetching crazy prices for collectors. I've seen this game go complete in the box for almost $200. What...the?!
Maybe I'm being too hard on this game. It's decent for a platformer, and saying it's decent is still a stretch. But it is meant to be educational, and it is meant for young kids to have a better understanding of a condition. So you know what, props to this company for trying to make kids learn something because it's not an easy thing to do.
And every kid loves dinosaurs..even ones with asthma.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time, keep on gaming!