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The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis is the first and most well-known in a series of Edutainment Games. The Zoombinis, an idyllic race of cute, blue-skinned creatures live in peace on Zoombini Isle, until a race called the Bloats comes in and offers to improve their trade routes and infrastructure. But the Bloats are really just looking for an excuse to gain access to the resources of the island. The Zoombinis find themselves enslaved, and so they set out to find a new homeland across the sea.

The puzzles in the game are mainly based off of the appearance of the Zoombinis - various hairstyles, nose colors, etc - which was customizable at the start of each trip. Often, the puzzles would require trial and error in order to figure out the rules. The puzzles themselves ranged from braving difficult terrain (crossing bridges over allergic cliffs or traveling over a watery chasm in a bubble) to getting past the locals (like pizza trolls, or Fleens - a related species to the Zoombinis who were mutated by a bad batch of mousse) to simply getting them all in the right place (in their seats on a barge, or in rooms in a hotel).

At the very end, the Zoombinis that were successfully led through the dangers would find themselves in Zoombiniville, where they would build greater and greater monuments as the population grew.


Tropes

  • Hundred-Percent Completion: A new monument is built in Zoombiniville the first time the player completes a path on a new difficulty setting without losing any Zoombinis. As noted below, some paths are harder than others.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Zoombinis are blue and the Fleens are green, though neither of them are particularly humanoid.
  • Anti Poop Socking: One of the narrator's lines in Zoombiniville reassures the player that they've done enough for now and they should go get some fresh air.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Shyler the pizza troll; his Shrinking Violet persona doesn't stop him from getting violent with the Zoombinis when they can't get his pizza right.
  • Evil Laugh: One of the several snippets of narration that can play at the Shade Tree rest stop includes the narrator bursting into one for no particular reason.
  • Gosh Hornet: Apparently, bees have no problem with Zoombinis. They do have a problem with Fleens.
  • Grid Puzzle: Mudball Wall.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: From "Not So Easy" to "Very, Very Hard".
  • Idle Animation
  • Large Ham: The narrator, and Arno the pizza troll.
  • The Migration: the Zoombinis flee Bloat-controlled Zoombini Isle and seek a new place to settle.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The game is practically built on soup cans. Some of them make more sense in the context of the story than others, but they're all fairly outlandish.
  • Speaking Simlish: The NPCs speak English, but the Zoombinis communicate in nonsensical chatter.
    • The Fleens speak in their own form of nonsensical chatter as well.
  • Tone Shift: With possibly a hint of Cerebus Syndrome. The first leg of the journey is bright and silly. However, once the player passes Shade Tree, things get substantially darker (in terms of lighting and content) and more serious.
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: Half of the minigames require various amounts of trial and error in order for you to collect enough information to solve the puzzle. One of them (specifically, Fleens!) appears to be a member of this contingent, but usually can actually be figured out before sending any Zoombinis if you observe carefully enough.
  • Waddling Head: The Zoombinis have no arms, and move stuff around by carrying it on their heads or pushing it with their heads. One of the stone guardians calls them "little pebbles". They do, however, have legs connecting their feet to their bodies, at least when they have actual feet in the first place.
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