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Aymun and the Mechon Pirates

Score: 80%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: CMY
Developer: CMY
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Edutainment/ Family

Graphics & Sound:

Aymun and the Mechon Pirates is an edutainment title from the Spanish company, CMY Entertainment. This game follows a brave, bug-eyed humanoid called Aymun as he tries to track down the Mechon Pirates who have stolen the Sacred Stone from his village.

The cartoony, in-game graphics are colorful and full of enough detail to make it easy to find the various items and objects you need in order to advance the story. The cut scenes are fully rendered 3D movies that show Aymun, Justino and the rest of the cast in all their glory.

The music isn't half bad. The background tunes are upbeat and keep out of the way as you move from room to room looking for the necessities and working your way through the various tests that crop up. The voice acting isn't bad either -- though it seems a bit stiff and forced, not to mention there were several times when the script itself didn't quite fit right. But this can easily be chalked up to translation complications.


One morning Aymun wakes to find some pirates making off with his village's sacred stone. When he climbs up the ladder of the Mechon Pirate's airship, he is shaken off over Gulfis company. That's how Aymun and the Mechon Pirates starts. Aymun is captured by the elf-like creatures and must break out of his jail in order to track down the pirates. While in his cell, the bug-eyed hero meets up with a small mouse named Justino. The two characters break out of jail and outsmart the guards and hunt down the old artifact. Unfortunately, Justino's advice isn't all that clear. Early in the game, you walk into the pantry and he makes a comment about a tasty-looking cake on the table. Unfortunately, there are two cakes in the room. The one that (at least to me) looks the tastiest and is more prominently displayed is the wrong one. Instead, you need to click on the one that is in a mass of other objects.

As you progress through the adventure, you will have to go through what I can only call "tests". In most other edutainment titles, I would say puzzles or tasks or goals, but in this game each time you enter an activity, it just doesn't blend well with the game. Instead of giving some sort of excuse as to why you have to match the ordinal words with the numbers (i.e. first and 1st) when you put the wine bottles up, you just pick up something you need (in this case a wooden board) and suddenly you have to match wine bottles. In other games, the lessons are fitted into the story, but here you just feel like you are pulled out of the story and are taking some kind of test.

There are also several options available in Aymun and the Mechon Pirates. Among these options is the ability to switch between Spanish and English on-the-fly at any point in the game. The other major option is the child's ability to choose a grade level before starting your adventure. You can choose anything from first to sixth grade. The grade choice effects both the difficulty of the tests as well as the overall feel of the game. But more of that in the next section.


Aymun and the Mechon Pirates lets you choose one of six grade levels (first through sixth). Although the overall story is the same and the general path of what you have to do is unchanged throughout all of the grades, there are two types of changes that make one level more difficult than the previous.

The first difference is that the tests you have to accomplish gradually grow more difficult as you work your way through the grades. It is a steady gradient, so it might not be very visible when looking at two grades right next to each other (like first and second grade for example). But if you compare others, you will see that puzzles that have you clicking on the sum or difference of two numbers become a puzzle where you have to click on the divisor or multiple of a certain number. Other changes in test difficulty includes having to match up more complex shapes, or associating the area/perimeter values to shapes and measurements when you would previously just match shapes.

The other difference is that Justino (the mouse in your pocket) will direct you less and less as you up the grade level. In first grade, he will tell you pretty much everything you need to know. When you walk into a room, he may say something like "Go pick up that wood" and later say "There's nothing left in here, go through that door". With each grade he speaks less and less, making him more of a help system or instructions for each test. By the time you get to the sixth grade setting, he is pretty much quiet the whole time, and the less he talks, the more the game feels like an adventure title instead of learning tool, since you will have to figure out what to pick up and where to go on your own.

Game Mechanics:

Aymun and the Mechon Pirates uses a basic point-and-click interface that lets you grab objects. Once you've clicked on the item and Aymun walks up to it, the object will appear in your inventory. When it comes to using the object with something else, like a wire with a locked door, instead of having you select the wire then the door like in most adventure-like games, you just need to click on the door. If you have what you need, then you will use the wire automatically. This helps to remove some of the tediousness that might make some of the younger gamers shy away.

All in all, Aymun and the Mechon Pirates is a fair educational game. Unfortunately, when you enter into one of the frequent tests, it seems to rip you out of the feel for the game even though they are themed to fit the settings (like numbered bats or selecting various objects in the room you are in), but the reason for the test isn't there. As an education-reinforcement tool, Aymun does a good job and spans many age groups (which means you don't necessarily have to buy a new game for each grade) and has the added bonus of being able to flip between English and Spanish.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium II 233 MHz. or higher, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP 64 MB of RAM, 16 bit SVGA 800x600 graphics card, Microsoft compatible mouse, sound card, 8x CD-ROM drive, Microsoft DirectX 8.1

Test System:

Toshiba Satellite series laptop, Windows XP Home Ed., 2.0 GHz Celeron, 2 GB RAM, 24X DVD/CD-ROM, 32 MB 3D accelerator

Sony PlayStation 2 In the Groove Nintendo DS Bomberman DS

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated