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Ecological principles come alive in Star Wars®: The Gungan Frontier as your students try to create a balanced ecosystem on a barren moon. This simulation mirrors real-world population dynamics, ecosystems, life cycles, regulation and behavior. Developed with scientists and teachers, tools like an interactive food web, glossary of ecological terms and population graphs lead to a better understanding of how small changes impact an environment over time.
  • Develop Skills, Scientific Inquiry and Systems Thinking
  • 360-degree, 3D views of the environment and its life forms in multiple zoom levels.
  • Over 80 Star Wars creatures and plants are at your disposal.
  • Life-like creature animations and sounds.
  • Over a dozen missions based on real-world ecological concepts test your knowledge and skill.
  • Create-a-Critter mode lets you design millions of creatures and plants, each with their own unique attributes.
  • The Kresch, a living encyclopedia, provides high-resolution images and detailed descriptions of every creature, plant, and Gungan bubble building.
  • Extensive graphic food web with species specifics, including diet, sounds, and terrain.
  • Detailed population graphs give you feedback to better manage your ecosystem.
  • Beginner and advanced modes provide challenges both engaging and complex.
~ advertising blurb

Just in time for the Episode I marketing bonanza in the last year of last millennium, Lucas Learning again tried something a little ambitious for their tight budget and young target audience. Star Wars: Episode I - The Gungan Frontier is a life management strategy game where you'll have to carefully balance an alien eco-system so that newly displaced Gungans can live off of its resources. Time for a biology lesson!

Ultimately, this is a better-looking version of SimLife except the animals are aliens and you have a subaquatic city to keep happy. You can play as either Obi-Wan Kenobi or Princess Amidala, but neither will affect gameplay one iota. The aim is to keep life alive in a newly formed biome so the matter can be harvested for the new residents of a pre-approved Gungan settlement. Missions range from growing a simple vegetable garden to harvesting enough flora and fauna to drastically raise the Gungan population. All the while, you'll be secretly learning about stuff.

It all honesty, I'd think I'd rather have an actual biology lesson than play this game at any length. I found consequences to your actions sometimes took too long to take effect leaving you watching numbers slowly increase. Other times, cataclysmic events happen in a blink of an eye, so fast that you can barely react before devastation hits. Disasters of both the natural and Gungan-made kind can completely devastate most of your cultivated life, making it seem like a chore to build yourself back to where you were instead of an exciting obstacle of which to overcome.

There isn't much variety in settlements. All planets seem to look the same, with sand, mud and grassland terrain to accompany different water depths. You can switch to an inviting overhead view of the Gungan city at any time, but this is really just a visual representation of your progress. The real variety comes in the number of trees, shrubs and critters you have at your disposal - over 80 in all. And that's not counting the creature creation tool (don't get too excited, it's very limited).

Overall, the package is a handsome one and the in-game encyclopedia makes for an interesting read for any Star Wars fan. I do struggle to see how the younger end of the recommended ages of 9 and up will stick with the slow and random nature of the gameplay. I guess it just takes a specific type of gamer to get something out of it.

To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
File Size: 527 Mb.  Install Size: 740 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Star Wars: Episode I - The Gungan Frontier is © Lucas Learning
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is © LucasFilm
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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1 comment:

  1. Hey, there, I'm trying to record footage of this game for a video review but I just can't seem to get it to play without stuttering audio and video. I've been messing with cycles and some values in the config file but nothing is pristine. Any tips?