Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Toy Story: Activity Center CD-ROM Game

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 In April 1996, Disney Interactive released three Toy Story computer games on CD-ROM, one of them being this Toy Story Activity Center. I was the perfect age for this game, just about six years old, when it was released and I remember being so excited getting it (along with the Animated Storybook: Toy Story game) in my Easter basket that year.

It has been years now since I've played the game, but I still do have my original CD-ROM disc back at home. For this post, I watched the "game play" on YouTube (thanks to YouTuber Brett Darien) and took screen shots of all the areas/activities in the game. Man did it bring back memories...I remembered almost every detail like no time had passed at all. If you grew up playing the game as well, be prepared for some major nostalgia below...

After the opening titles, you're taken to the sign in screen with Woody giving you some simple instructions on how to get started.

After you've signed your name and clicked on the Luxo ball, you head to the main area in Andy's bedroom. Woody gives a brief overview on how things work in the game and then it's all up to you to decide where you want to go. You have three locations to choose from; you can stay in Andy's room, visit Pizza Planet or head over to Sid's room. Each area has three activities to play (for a total of nine activities throughout, even though the cover of the game says eight).

Let's first take a look at the three activities included in Andy's room, starting with "Sums Up" with Hamm. In this card game, the objective is to strategically play your cards to stay under the limit number (seen on Etch), while still trying to get the opponent to go over. In other words, whoever places down the card sending the sum total of the cards over the limit number is the loser. In level one the limit is 39, in level two the limit is 69 and in level three the limit is 99.

This next game is a "Marble Art" activity with Rex. In this one, reminiscent of "Lite-Brite", there really isn't any objective except to make cool art by placing the colored marbles anywhere in the board. You're totally free here to just create whatever you want and even add "special effects" to your image by clicking the Little-Tikes seen at the bottom of the board.

This is a fun activity that I remember spending lots of time playing. Young kids will absolutely love it!

Last here in Andy's room, but not least, is the "Five in a Row" game with Slinky and Mr. Spell. The object here is exactly what the name be able to place five characters on the board in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, while also preventing your opponent from doing the same (almost exactly like the game Connect Four). You choose whichever side you'd like to play, the Little Tikes or the Green Army Men, and have the option of playing against the computer or with a friend.

Now let's take a trip over to Pizza Planet to see what intergalactic fun we can have over there...

The first here of the three activities is "Slimon"-a classic"Simon Says" type game with a slimy space alien twist. The object is simple yet can be challenging: remember the order in which the aliens spray there slime and then repeat it back to them by clicking on the aliens in the same order. The aliens spray five times in level one, ten times in level two and 20 times in level three. Also, like with "Five in a Row", you have the option to play either against the computer or a friend.

Tired from all that memorization? Not a problem...just put your feet up and take a few minutes to relax at the "Mystic Portal Theater" located in the mission control tower. There you can watch six of the most iconic and memorable scenes from the film!

Lastly, head into the inner workings of the "crane game" for this 3D puzzle activity called "Fusion Flow." While avoiding the red stars, help Buzz fix the rocket's "launch mechanism" by placing pipes within the 3D maze to connect point A with point B. The game does get more challenging as you move up through the second and third difficulty levels.

Once you're done playing the activities at Pizza Planet, it's time to head over to Sid Phillips' deranged bedroom to finish things up.  

I remember this activity, the "Mutant Toy Creator", was one of my favorites. Here you can assemble your own disturbing "mutant toy" by choosing from a variety of different bodies, heads, arms and legs...then watch it as it comes to life as it dances around! The possibilities are endless.  

Next we have the "Sid's Sonic Boombox" activity where you can create your own soundtrack. Choose instruments and sound effects from his sound library and drop them into the 12 empty windows. From there, you can add all sorts of effects such as adjusting the pitch and tempo or adding reverb. Press play to hear your masterpiece. 

In this puzzle game, "Code Breaker", the objective is to save Buzz- who managed to get himself trapped in Sid's "electronic locking device." You can help Buzz out by solving the puzzles seen below him. There are four categories of puzzles with four puzzles within each category. Solve all 16 puzzles to release Buzz from the grip of Sid's wacky mechanism and save the day!

Well there we have it! The Toy Story Activity Center...a classic game that, like the film, still holds up today. If you have a computer this might still be compatible with, I can't recommend it enough! If you're interested, you can pick up this game on Amazon HERE.

One final note: Want to really trigger some memories? Check out the commercial for this game (that originally played in front of the Toy Story on VHS) below:

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