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Nostalgia 101: The Wonders of the '90s: A look back: Math Blaster

By Matt Gantos
On April 27, 2014

I was talking to one of my friends in class the other day, and I said to him, "Hey, do you remember Math Blaster?" To my surprise, he said, "Yeah man, Math Blaster was the best!"
I thought that it was a computer game that might have been unique to my elementary school or town, but eventually the entire class of 15 students turned around and started discussing it because they all played it too.
At first I didn't really remember much of it. I remembered being this green alien looking guy flying through space, blowing things up, then running through side-scrolling levels solving equations to turn on machines to advance through the map.
So I did the reasonable thing anyone living in 2014 would do and looked up a youtube video for it. I'm not sure who these people are that decided that making a walkthrough of Math Blaster would be a valuable way to spend their time, but there are multiple walkthroughs.
The game I was the most familiar with was "Math Blaster Episode One: In Search of Spot," which was released in 1994, then rereleased as Mega Math Blaster in 1998. Going to the computer lab was easily one of the best parts of the day back in elementary school, besides recess obviously.
We basically just got tricked into learning math, but I sure wasn't complaining because when I played it in 1998, that was a quality video game. We also played numerous other games like "Hot Dog Stand" and "Type to Learn," which was always the worst. Sometimes we just got to play in MS Paint. Those were the days.
But all of my friends naturally tried to compete with each other and see who could get furthest before the end of the period. Or who could get the most crystals.
There were really five stages of the game. You, Blaseternaut, start off in space, headed toward the planet Moldar. Solving equations would give you more laser power to blow things up that are in your way. Then you get there and you do a Space Invaders-style mini-game where you get weapons to take out the enemies in the next part.
The next part was the part I remember. There's droplets with positive and negative numbers and you have to collect them to change the number you have and use it to operate a machine.
Anyway, the enemies in this part were hilariously designed. One enemy was just a giant walking blue nose in a Viking hat. In order to kill it, you throw a clothes pin at it and it plugs the nose and it explodes.
I tried to look for a way to play the games online for free, but to no avail. I did find a version that was released for the Super Nintendo that you can play on one of those retro game-emulating sites, but all the graphics are different, and it just wouldn't be the same.
This game is a cornerstone of my gaming roots, and if you ever got to play this in elementary school, maybe it is for you too. If you find any way to play the good ol' version, tweet at me @GiGantoss.
 


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