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The wonder of the enchanted forest awaits you...

Stimulate your child's imagination while challenging their minds with Woodspell. This highly entertaining game contains some of the most breathtaking graphics ever created for your computer. Players will be surrounded by elves, gnomes, fairies, giants, witches, and other legendary creatures.

Play games, hear stories, solve problems, and sing along with the original music as you make your way through the mysterious woodland. Woodspell encourages parents and children to work together to build their own adventures using fantasy and imagination every step of the way. Let the magic of these legendary creatures tickle you heart, light up your computer screen, and stay with you forever.
  • Inspiring, detailed graphics dazzle both children and adults.
  • Challenging puzzles in every level. In this scene, reposition rocks to uncover a hidden mystery.
  • Enjoy hours of game play discovering secret locations and interacting with endearing mythological creatures.
  • Sing along as you solve the puzzle of the harmonious mushrooms.

  • Stimulates imagination and creativity
  • Over 20 adventure-filled forect scenes
  • Dramatic Italian-designed graphics
  • Challenging games and riddles
  • Original soundtrack by the award winning band "Tazenda"
  • High quality graphics, game play and music
  • Ages 6+ (fun for all ages)

  1. Problem-solving skills
  2. Patterning
  3. Awareness
  4. Mechanical processes
  5. Hand-eye coordination
~ from the back of the box

For some reason, educational CD-ROMs in the 90s had a high chance of looking spectacular. While most other genres were still using chunky pixels or tipping their toes in even chunkier polygons. Whether they had a Disney movie, a well-drawn picture book or simply their own wild imaginations to draw from, development teams had an ingrained need to stand out to your six-year-old. While scouring the internet, I found Woodspell: An Enchanted Forest of Learning and Fun from Mediola, and with its gorgeous European fantasy aesthetic, the six-year-old in me was instantly sold.

Going on the Nordic mythology of trolls and gnomes found in Woodspell, it is a little surprising that Mediola hails from Italy. This seems to be their modus operandi; their only other game was the very American New York set Who's Fat Lou?. It's not all about other cultures with Woodspell, however. The popular Italian soft rock band Tazenda composed original music for the game. The short tracks evoke a mysticism that perfectly complements the game, with its catchy acoustic guitar riffs, rhythmic percussion and guttural, ethereal vocals.

Most of the forest screens link together to form a detailed fantasy landscape.
These are just six of them put together.

Right from the very beginning, the game features highly detailed and lush artwork depicting a magical forest filled with the movement of flora, fauna and fantastical creatures all at once. Each of the main screens link directly into each other, scrolling to reveal a large forest playground to explore. Fairies fly among the flowers, gnomes climb out of tree knots and every rock, twig and leaf morphs into facial features that react when you point the cursor over them. More often than not, the resulting animation is amusing but there isn't much logic or assistance in what you should do.

An example of this is the opening screen. I spent a little too long here trying to progress. After a few clicks, a voice sample kept telling me to stop clicking everywhere. So I didn't. I moved the mouse around until the cursor changed colour and found four or five hotspots of various size. One would bring a rock face to life, casually yawning reflecting my own state at the time. Another would flash up a elf wordlessly pointing to the left. The other three just played audio clips, until I held on the one over the flowers that took me to a mini-game.

In one of the mini-games you time rocks to throw at the paper boats (left).
Some screens just offer a trippy animation, such as these singing mushroom people (right).

Featuring the same trippy art that wouldn't be out of place in a Brian Stroud/Jim Hensen collaboration, this music game has you organise the mouths so that they're all singing the same song. It's easy, and a little too simple but the artwork on display and the music that plays are enough to keep you engrossed. Once this was done, I was returned back to the previous screen where I still had no idea what to do. The wave-over trick no longer worked until I hazarded something I was told not to do; I clicked. From here, you enter the main hub of the forest, with interlinked screens that contains the main bulk of the game. These screens are mostly directionless, with blind waves of the mouse potentially uncovering an animation, a puzzle and hopefully a purpose.

And I suppose that's the major negative towards Woodpsell; there is no real purpose. There is little in the way of story beyond the immediate "play a game" or "follow that elf", but I suppose that's the point. It's an exploration into a fantasyland that's deeply immersive solely on its artistic merit. In many respects, it's almost like an interactive art piece in a way, with its lack of real logic or agency. One thing's for sure; there may be little learning in this forest, but regardless of anything else, there's still a fair amount of fun. However abstract that may be.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to bring the game to modern systems. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 149 Mb.  Install Size: 265 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Woodspell: An Enchanted Forest of Learning and Fun is © Mediola
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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  1. The Link isn't working. It says it's no longer available

  2. Hi dear and thank you for all the new uploads! I have only a problem with "WordSpell". Actually the game don't save, First time i tried saved the game, it works but when i tried to load a game i received an error message which says something like "Ptogram error. There is a problem with a library" and closed. So i tried to start the game again and the save was not present anymore. I tried also to play, save, exit and load game but nothing. The save is lost. Can you try it or find a solution? Thanks!

    1. I'll have to investigate. Usually saving issues is down to admin rights but until I'm back at my computer I can't say for sure.

      At the very least, I know the DOSBox save states work.

  3. Wow, those graphics really are something. You're right on the money about '90s edutainment games, the audiovisual fidelity was off the scale in comparison to other games. Their detailed animation in particular was something that only adventure games ever attempted to match.

    In many ways I think they were the realisation of the 'multimedia future' vision for the desktop PC that perhaps never quite materialised in other kinds of software. It was beautiful, but the sheer craft and artstic expertised required would have been very hard to justify in budgetary terms.

    To this day the casual gaming space (think hidden object and other light puzzle games) is an arena where companies have to compete for attention with attractive UI and graphics, but even here animation is often a step too far.

    It sounds as though it plays like an early precursor to the Samarost games. I'll definitely be checking this one out, thanks for your hard work in rescuing it from obscurity.

    1. Samarost didn't come to mind when playing, but the whole Amanita Design adventure ethos is here. You discover the game moreso than solve it. Woodspell is in the first-person, though, and it is ultimately an education game even if just barely. Otherwise, it's a good comparison.

  4. These old games really are hard lol

    1. I keep getting stuck for very long periods of time