Going to elementary and middle school in the early 2000s made me and I'm sure many others very aware of educational computer games. Chief among these were those produced by the now defunct The Learning Company and distributed throughout schools as a form of summer supplemental learning programs. I know that my school district participated in such a program, despite the generally low quality of games issued out.
As a result, I have very fond memories of the Reader Rabbit franchise, which was aimed towards kindergarten through 2nd grade children, and the focus of today's retrospective, The ClueFinders franchise. Aimed towards older elementary and early middle school children, The ClueFinders really was a personal favorite of mine growing up, with my sister and I playing the games constantly.
As nerdy as that might seem, I really loved the hell out of the tone that the series maintained throughout its entire run and have enjoyed watching people playing the games online for years, even as the quality continues to age poorly (a staple of the entire Learning Company brand). The games had a heightened level of world-building and the combination of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery wasn't what one might expect from an educational game. So in that spirit of nostalgia, today's retrospective will focus on the first game in The ClueFinders franchise that I remember playing, The ClueFinders 3rd Grade - The Mystery of Mathra.