Educational Computer Games of the 1980s

January 24th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

10 Educational PC Games of the 1980s

Elsewhere on the web (PCMag), I’ve got a slideshow up that celebrates educational computer games of the 1980s. You know — those games like Oregon Trail and Number Munchers you played for exactly 30 minutes a week at the school computer lab between Logo binges.

Like all my slideshows, expect nostalgia aplenty. Unless you didn’t grow up in the 1980s. In that case, you’ll probably absolutely hate this slideshow. Avoid it at all costs!

9 Responses to “Educational Computer Games of the 1980s”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    Oregon Trail was great, but my favorite was a game called Car Builder. I don’t know how educational it was, but our school considered it educational, so I could play it in the “Computer Lab”. You basically selected a drive train, engine, transmission, body style etc and then it would let you modify the body style. I found this website that lets you play it online if you want to check it out:

  2. Tristan Says:

    I don’t recall any of those, not sure any made it across the Atlantic (I am now familiar with Oregon Trail as my American wife mentions it every so often).

    Here in Blighty educational games were probably mainly on the BBC as the most common computer in schools.

    Number 1 on any UK list would have to be Grannie’s Garden – so popular that it is still sold (for the PC).
    I also fondly remember Pob. A sphere you could give commands to, including Run and everyone’s favourite Pop.

    There were also tie-ins with BBC educational TV programs – I remember a game based on Geordie Racer (part of the BBC’s long running Look And Read programme).

  3. Jay Says:

    Odell Lake! That’s what it was called! Another Fuzzy Memory solved (:

    There’s an osprey nest near my home, and every time I see them I picture that game, and frantically moving my fish to deep water to save them from the talon at the top of the screen.

    I’d forgotten Number Munchers too, but now I remember playing the heck out of that in the computer labs. And Oregon Trail too, for which I gained notoriety in school by accidentally (really) saving a tombstone with an obscenity on it…

  4. Judith Says:

    Wonderful trip down memory lane! My son’s (born in 1982) copies of Number Munchers, Rocky’s Boots. Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail are all preserved at the Digital Game Museum. I still think that Rocky’s Boots was one of the great games of all time, although my son was always better at it than I was.. And the best tribute to Oregon Trail that I’ve ever seen is here: .

  5. JackSoar Says:

    I remember several of these titles fondly, and like Jay, Odell Lake was a fuzzy memory for me. That was a very popular title in my classroom, but I could never remember what it was called in recent years (it would have helped if I had remembered that the bird was an osprey, and not an albatross.)

  6. Jim U. Says:

    How about Donkey Kong Jr. Math?

  7. Ant Says:

    Replay them:

  8. Kate Kaos! Says:

    What, no Tink! Tonk!? I must have played the Tonk in the Land of the Buddy-Bots one about eight million times as a kid on our first PC – it was a 1985 AT&T

  9. Razzies517 Says:

    I remember playing a game in elementary school called Millionware (or something like that) where gamers did something (can’t recall) and involved currency from different countries (ie. rubles, francs, etc.). Does anyone know of what came I am speaking?

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