Gaming and Me: Captain Cajun and the Zoombinis

Our desktop computer always had quite a number of interesting games to accompany it. In his time my Dad used to be very up to date with his tech, which is how we ended up with an Amstrad/Sega Mega Drive hybrid computer. Naturally then a handful of more obscure titles managed to make their way into our home. So here I want to bring back memories of one in particular.

 

These are Zoombini. It isn’t just fun and games designing them, this effects the whole game!

The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis was one of the very first games we owned on CD-Rom back on our Windows 95. The game tasks players with helping these oddball looking creatures, known as the Zoombinis, escape slavery and renew their once idyllic civilisation. To do so we had to guide them through various logic based puzzles, involving prejudiced environments and characters who would discriminate between certain looking Zoombini (truly it’s hard out there for these guys). Despite what sounds like a horrible setup, this puzzle adventure had quite a lot of depth to it, as every Zoombini had a unique appearance that would be the focus of most of the puzzles along the way. And there really are some memorable puzzles, such as the grumpy tree stumps in pursuit of the perfect pizza, the inn that insists each guest can only stay in the room most suited to them and matching the deceptive mirrors of the mines. However there’s one character from this game that has stuck with me through the years.

 

Here he is Captain Cajun. What even is this guy?! He looks like when of those flailing balloon people car salesman use to draw in customers.

A strange yellow man, goes by the name of Captain Cajun, offers to grant the Zoombini passage on his ferry boat, however he’ll only let them sit next to someone who has something in common with their neighbour, and leaves us to figure out for ourselves the specifics. Otherwise he’ll eject them unceremoniously from his raft and eventually tire of our fruitless guessing and sail off leaving anyone unfortunate enough not to have a seat behind. It’s perhaps not the most memorable puzzle in the game, but his patronising response to your futile efforts to please him gives this stage its edge. Kudos to the voice actor here because it isn’t his words so much as his tone that I often think back to today. However the reason I write about him here is because he somehow always comes to mind whenever I’m commending someone for their efforts, say at work or at home. It’s the way he says “there you go you got it”. It’s a pop culture reference I’m entirely certain nobody would get unless I told them but at times I find that this strange yellow man passes through me a moment and I sing song his tone in the next sentence that comes out of my mouth.

I’m sure all us gamers have characters we like to think back to every now and then, and some we like to reference in social situations. I throwback to this character on the blog as its interesting to think back to those games of our childhood and how they still stick with us today, even something it seems everyone else has likely forgotten about. So I’m giving some attention to a game that my whole family enjoyed way back when computers weren’t turning into tablet, android, iOS tech. Turns out however there’s a remake on our modern platforms now too so if anyone is ever looking for a logic game to while away a few hours, then truly check this surprisingly endearing, wacky journey out.

Check this video out to see the stage in action. Now imagine getting it wrong ten times over and hearing him laugh every five seconds no suddenly that voice becomes a prat of us!

http://youtu.be/NspiBGaAz3k

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