My first videogame ever was this weird edutainment thing called “Dinoropa”. It was co-funded by the german ministry of foreign affairs, and it tried to make children learn stuff about Europe, in particular about the twelve members of the European Union. Did I mention this game is old? Also, there are dinosaurs, which have nothing to do with anything.
Unfortunately, this game doesn’t really seem to have a spot in gamers’ hearts nowadays. Probably because it is not really good even for 1994’s standards. But still, I think there should be at least something about it on the Internet. So I did a quick Let’s Play on it some time ago.
It’s only in German, because the game is too and I don’t feel confident enough about my English for translating everything on the fly. If you don’t speak German, you might still enjoy the weird minigames and the onboard speaker representation of the national anthems of all the twelve EU members.
It doesn’t shy away from asking important questions.
It is highly educational.
It has well-written dialogs.
And it’s as incomprehensible as Metal Gear Solid 2.
You might have guessed it – it’s a Pokémon bootleg, one that’s usually known as Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal. And it is probably the most entertaining video game I ever encountered, thanks to its weird, dadaist charme. Some things are barely comprehensible, some are just plain wrong, there are about five hundred items called “POLE”, about 50% of the attacks are completely misnamed (“FLAME”? It’s Water Gun, what did you think!), but every second line in the game will make you laugh so hard it hurts. There are a couple of Let’s Plays of the thing, the most famous one was done by Delicious Cinnamon, who also have some other Pokémon bootleg games in their library. You should totally go watch it right now.
It’s simply my favourite video game ever, and it was created only by accident (automatic translation, probably).