Treasure Cove! (1997) – Computer Game Review

Treasure Cove! (1997) – Computer Game Review


Welcome to Edutainment Month, celebrating
educational games that try to teach while
also being entertaining.
This time I continue the Super Solvers/Seekers
series of games and look at The Learning Company’s
1997 re-release of Treasure Cove! for the
Mac and PC. This like the 1997 version of
Treasure Mountain! with updated visuals and
audio from its original 1992 release. This
game is the 9th in the Super Solvers series
and third in the Super Seekers series
In this game we see The Master of Mischief
fleeing Treasure Mountain after the events
of the 1992 game Treasure MathStorm!. He flees
to his island hideout and shatters the rainbow
bridge connecting the mainland to his island
so that the elves can’t stop his mischief.
The rainbow gems sprinkle about the bay and
the starfish that notice their whereabouts
get cursed by The Master. The curse is to
only speak in riddles and award correct answers
with clues. Not only that but The Master released
sharks and nasty creatures called goobies
to steal adventurer’s light. It is up to
you as the Super Seeker to find all the gems
to rebuild the bridge and find all the pufferfish
to block the goobie holes. Thwarting The Master
of Mischief once more.
My question is, why did The Master of Mischief
shatter the bridge? I mean the bridge was
to his own island. And it wouldn’t be too
hard to get to it, you wouldn’t even need
to take a boat or swim. It looks like you
could just jump across the gap. I get that
the objective of the Super Seeker is to restore
the bridge but maybe the higher priority is
shutting down The Master’s factory that
is clearly producing pollution into the air
and sea but whatever.
As the Super Seeker you explore the same three
underwater locations using the arrow keys
to move up, down, left, and right. Your goal
is to shoot bubbles at orange starfish to
get clues to where gems and pufferfish are
hidden. The riddles the starfish give cover
nature, math, logic, reading and writing skills.
And will show their disappointment if you
fail to answer their questions correctly.
But if you capture them again the incorrect
answer will be greyed out.
If you answer their riddles correctly they
will give you one of three possible clues
for the level you are on. If you use your
light on a thing that matches two of your
clues you will get a gem but if you use it
on something that matches all three clues
you will get a pufferfish to use on the goobie
hole allowing you to move to next area.
You get light from shooting bubbles at starfish
no matter their color but you get more when
you answer questions correctly. And you get
bubbles from fill up stations after paying
the employee in light beams.
Besides the general use of the bubbles and
light, you can lose light from getting hit
by goobies and also from the sharks in the
last area under the docks. But you are in
no way defenseless, you can use your bubbles
to trap goobies and make sharks float to the
surface.
If you lose all your bubbles and light, a
school of three multi-colored fish will appear
on the next screen, swimming into them restores
some light for you to use at a fill up station.
Opposed to my playthrough of Treasure Mountain!
I never had a stockpile of light or bubbles
I was always needing to stock up on some more.
By the third level I always knew to gather
some light and bubbles before I headed to
the docks so I had a way to defend myself
against sharks and collect the extra gem.
After you pass through the docks in a game
session the Super Seeker throws the gems to
elves to throw into a magic pot in order to
rebuild the bridge. You are then sent back
to the sunken ship to show you how many gems
you need to become a higher rank.
Upon reaching the Two Star Super Seeker rank
the difficulty raises in the amount of goobies
there are, the questions, and that there are
two sharks under the dock now. You do get
a chance to get more gems by increasing your
bag to carry three gems per level. And by
entering this fish’s mouth you have a chance
to collect more gem points by shining a light
at the gem just like the gem under the docks.
A lot of things seem a little bit slower than
Treasure Mountain!. Now that your character
swims in multiple directions it is a matter
of dodging enemies or lining up shots. In
the other game I felt I was getting extra
speed from jumping everywhere and the fact
it was just two directions to move. Besides
that the orange starfish are sometimes hard
to find as they are moving around in and out
of caves and around the level. I barely had
as good of luck finding all three orange starfish
on one screen as i did with elves in Treasure
Mountain!.
Also the transitions to the next levels seemed
to be longer and slower to transition since
first you need to plug the hole then move
into position to start up the transition cutscene.
But I did learn that by clicking your mouse
or pressing the enter key it would skip the
cutscene transition.
Other than that I think that the visuals continue
the same middle ground of cartoonish but also
slightly realistic so that the cartoon characters
and things don’t seem too out of place.
I also like the transition from deep sea darker
colors to lighter sand and bright colors as
you moved closer to the surface with each
level.
The animations are also well done making it
feel like it wasn’t rushed out the door
as a product.
The music is nice with feelings of the mysteriousness
of Ecco the Dolphin in caves, a pirate kind
of theme under the docks, and slight tropical
motifs everywhere else. But as with Treasure
Mountain! the percussion is weirdly screeching.
With the updated audio the game allows for
the starfish to speak their riddles if you
wish.
Besides the weird screeching, the game had
a terrible sound mixer for the guy introducing
the story in the beginning. The music and
the voiceover are at the same level or sometimes
the music overpowers the narrator’s voice
so you might have a hard time figuring out
what he said.
Overall I think that this game offers about
the same kind of experience that I got when
playing Treasure Mountain! just with different
questions and a different theme. The added
enemies and the fact I couldn’t stockpile
bubbles and light mean that on the gameplay
side it is a little more challenging. Think
of this game as an expansion for more types
for questions. For the next generation I would
still recommend this game to be played. Because
of the visual and audio update it is much
easier to recommend over the original 1992
release.
This game is currently going for slightly
more than $10 online.
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3 thoughts on “Treasure Cove! (1997) – Computer Game Review”

  1. Good review, glad you touched on the difficulty hearing vox over music, I always when music is relatively too loud compared to vocals/commentary.

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