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South America Trek

by Conrad Knopf

Educational/Travel
1986

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Number of Reviews: 2
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
It's a trek. In South America., May 22, 2011
by David Welbourn (Kitchener, Ontario)
South America Trek is an educational travelogue through every country in South America. Your character is supposedly tasked with a fact-finding mission for the United States government, but it's just an excuse to try to teach students a little geography.

There is a story, sorta. Starting from Devil's Island, you need to make your way to the southernmost tip of the continent and signal a submarine to take you home. Make a map. En route, you'll meet a geography teacher (Miss Diddlemeyer) who'll join you and occasionally spit out "interesting" dry facts about the country you're currently visiting. And there's a short trivia quiz at the end to make sure you paid attention.

All of which is... not that exciting. Rooms can be entire countries, but with very brief descriptions and little depth. There's no pictures to look at and very few objects to examine. I don't think it's a very effective educational tool unless it nudges you to look at an atlas or Wikipedia afterwards.

There are some puzzles, mostly easy stuff, but sometimes a bit convoluted. For example, at one point you have some gold but want some fish. You can't simply buy the fish with the gold, you have to go through some extra in-between steps that implies an unlikely backstory to me. And there's quite a bit of wandering up and down the continent, just to find something to signal the sub with. You may get a weird sense of scale and start feeling sorry for any smokers in Argentina who have to visit French Guinea to borrow the matches.

Still, it was a bit different from the usual IF game, and now I know that Venezuela has oil fields, so I guess that's something.

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Victor Gijsbers, May 23, 2011 - Reply
Nationalising the oil industry was about the first thing Chavez did when he came to power in Venezuela; and oil was also one of the prime reasons why the US was relatively enthusiastic about the (failed) 2002 coup.
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