My elementary school years (especially third through sixth grades) bring back a plethora of great memories – Book It, Creative Writing Club, chorus, and Computer Science class. It was the Computer Science class that got me interested in the computer early on, and it was while writing my most recent Throwback Thursday post that I got to thinking about a great computer game from those early Computer Science classes. It has me asking you the question: “did you hang out at The Treehouse?”
Hanging Out In Computer Science Class
Third grade meant a few things – the transition to a new school (the district I attended school in was large, necessitating in having two schools – one for Pre-K to second grade, the other for third through sixth grades. Both schools are now Pre-K through sixth – half the town goes to one school, the other half to the other school) which had just opened the year before, in-school extracurricular activities (beginning in fourth grade, we could take band, choir, or both), art club, and creative writing club. Take a lucky guess what I participated in?
No surprise on Creative Writing Club, but my terrible singing voice also participated in choir twice a year from fourth through sixth grades.
Anyway, Computer Science class.
Third grade was the first year I learned how to use a computer.
Allison, 3rd grade (September 1991)
The first games we played involved learning to use the different peripherals of a computer (keyboard, mouse). One game we played that year involved using just the mouse. It was a bit geared at younger kids (it was for six to ten year olds), but it was pretty fun.
And thanks to the magic of the internet, I not only got read about it…I got to play it!
The Treehouse is an interactive point-and-click computer game released in 1991 by Broderbund, who made creative and fun learning games come alive.
And logo music…8-bit.
The game was sold mainly in stores specializing in educational supply stores, rather than mainstream stores that sold computer software (in 1991, think Electronics Boutique and Babbage’s – you wouldn’t find this game in either store). This game followed up the 1989 Broderbund game The Playroom, and was succeeded in 1993 by The Backyard, though a 1996 version of The Treehouse exists for Windows 3.1 and 95. This version offers different characters, interface, and locations.
The Treehouse features two opossums who either want to play or nap.
When they are awake, the treehouse is a plethora of interesting activities, including:
Music making and a music game where the player identifies the notes being played to earn a musical note…
Various interactive features, including a chalkboard, tape player, clock, telescope, clouds, and fruit.
And the funniest thing a dog thinks!
A “theater” to create your own crazy stories…
And these two sleeping squirrels!
And now that you’ve seen what goes on in The Treehouse…
Would YOU Like to Hang Out At The Treehouse Too?
I did, and I made this gameplay video to prove it, because screenshots don’t do it justice. Seeing (and hearing!) is truly believing!
Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words
Where Can You Play these Classics?
The awesome Classic Reload is THE place for games made pre-Windows 95. They have an amazing selection of classic PC, Mac, Commodore 64, and Sega games contained within. All gameplay is done within their site, and can be played fullscreen. This is a great resource of games you played and loved, games you forgot you loved, and games that you never heard of before.
I found a few goodies here that I’ll definitely be playing again.
She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords) and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
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