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June 26, 2006 10:18 PM   Subscribe

It taught me how to read a map... What was this "educational" computer game from the 1980's?

I attended elementary school from 1984-1990, when good behavior could earn you a few sessions on the Apple II GS or Apple IIe. I remember some of the popular games: there was Oregon Trail (of course), Number Munchers, Fraction Munchers, and Murphy's Minerals to name a few... however there is one game I am struggling to remember.

The premise of this game was to read a map and drive a car around a city from point A to point B. I can only assume the educational value of this game was to teach map-reading/spatial development skills. Essentially, you would drive around, reach an intersection, and iuse the map to determine if you should go left, right, or straight ahead. From there you would go to the next intersection and so forth... Exciting, right?

Any ideas what this game was called?
posted by peppermint22 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)

I'm pretty sure it was a MECC title, but I can't remember it nor can I get google to spit out a list. I remember the game, though, and that old Minnesota shaped MECC logo at the start.

Sorry I can't be more specific!
posted by jazon at 10:47 PM on June 26, 2006

Cross Country USA was the American version.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:58 PM on June 26, 2006

Wasn't it called Grandma? I think you were trying to drive to her house.

The thing I remember is the loading screen on the Apple II version. "But when you go to pick up your car, you find that he has had a Big Mac Attack and will be back in a few minutes." (loads)
posted by atholbrose at 5:37 AM on June 27, 2006

Cross Country Canada and USA can be found on abandonware sites.
posted by dmd at 6:21 AM on June 27, 2006

I remember this game too, and it's definitely not Oregon Trail or Cross-Country Canada/USA. There was a printed map that went with the game; the map was of a small town, no bigger than eight blocks in any direction, with all sorts of businesses & other places scattered around it. Time-wise, I remember playing it around 1988.

Sorry I can't be of more help, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:57 AM on June 27, 2006

LOL at all the people who answered without reading the question.

Sorry, definitely not Cross Country Canada/USA - you drove around in a small town not an entire country. Also, I found this about Grandma's House and that isn't it either.

It sounds like Johnny Assay is describing the right game. The point was to drive around a small town, and figuring out the directions from a map. Anybody out there know what this thing was called?
posted by peppermint22 at 9:26 AM on June 27, 2006

Found it! I asked an old friend and out of nowhere she came up with the title "Jenny's Journey's"... of course it's a fine MECC creation.
posted by peppermint22 at 3:08 PM on June 27, 2006

Okay... that "Grandma's House" is definitely not the Grandma game I was talking about. Since I thought about it more, though, the Grandma I remember was more about Cartesian co-ordinates than reading a grid... you were still driving a car (arrow) down streets (grid lines), but Grandma's house was at one randomly-generated coordinate and you started at another.

Like many early MECC games it was a version of a BASIC game that had been floating around since the early days of BASIC. I think it was even in one of the big books of generic BASIC games I had as a kid.

Definitely no Jenny's Journeys, though.
posted by atholbrose at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2006

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