Roberta Williams' Mixed-Up Mother Goose is a computer game first released by Sierra On-Line in 1987. It is, in essence, an edutainment title, directed specifically at young gamers, as well as an adventure game.
The storyline of the game is very simple, as is common in games for children. One night, while preparing for bed, a child (which is the player's avatar) is sent into the dreamlike world of Mother Goose, who desperately needs his or her help. All the nursery rhymes in the land have gotten mixed up, with none of the inhabitants possessing the items necessary for their rhyme to exist. And so, the child will find themselves helping Humpty Dumpty find a ladder to scramble onto a wall, bringing the little lamb back to Mary and seeking out a pail for Jack and Jill, among others.
Gameplay is once again rather simple. The AGI system, similar to the one used extensively in previous Sierra games (ex. the Quest series: King's Quest, Police Quest, etc.), is utilized in the 1987 version. The player controls his or her characters using - almost exclusively - the four direction keys on the keyboard. When an item of interest comes into view, it is usually shown very clearly, so that younger gamers would not find it difficult to hunt it down. Walking close to an item is synonymous with picking it up and, as there is only one inventory window in the top-right corner of the screen, the character can only hold one object at a time. Inanimate objects can be found in houses or on the ground throughout the land, whereas living objects can only be found outdoors. In the case of living objects, the person or animal will follow behind the player so that they can be led back to the person or place they need to be to complete the rhyme. Human objects, such as Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife, will also explain where they want to go in words and a "thought bubble". Some characters (namely Old King Cole) require several items brought to them in order to put their rhyme back together. All but one of the items are placed randomly throughout the land. There are 18 nursery rhymes to choose from, 20 items to recover, and many screens in which one can find the lost items. A point is awarded for each fixed rhyme. If a player finds it hard to match the objects with the rhymes, he or she can approach the characters who are in need of a specific part of their story and this item will be displayed above them in the form of a "thought bubble". It is also interesting to note that, at the beginning of the game, the player can select the character that will be used during the game, with 8 characters to choose from. The game can be saved, or more precisely, bookmarked (a feature which became prominent - and somewhat infamous - in some later Sierra games, including Phantasmagoria and King's Quest VII), at any time.
Mixed-Up Mother Goose was remade by Sierra several times, bringing the total up to four different versions.
Below is a list of nursery rhymes used in the game, along with corresponding items in brackets:
'She just got mixed up in something bad,' girl's cousin says: ; Boone teen-ager, boyfriend charged; in mom's murder
Feb 08, 2001; firstname.lastname@example.org Most nights after Brenda Linville went to bed, her 16-year-old daughter, Morgan, would sneak out of the...
Father of Jamaican teen suspect in sniper case says he was "nice kid," doesn't know how he got mixed up in shootings
Oct 25, 2002; 00-00-0000 Dateline: KINGSTON, Jamaica A 17-year-old arrested as one of two suspects in the Washington-area sniper shootings left...