Codex Gamicus

The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis is the first game in the educational software series created by Chris Hancock and Scot Osterweil of TERC. There are three titles in the series: The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, Zoombinis Mountain Rescue, and Zoombinis Island Odyssey.

The game is based around the "Zoombinis", a race of small blue creatures which are depicted with varying eyes, noses, hair, and feet. They are peaceful and successful, living on a small island called Zoombini Isle. Their lives are interrupted by a race called the Bloats, who offer to expand trade routes and improve the Zoombinis' quality of life; instead they take advantage of the situation and enslave the Zoombinis. The Zoombinis therefore decide to flee and search for a new home, and on their journey they encounter a variety of logic puzzles which the player must solve.

Features of the Zoombinis[]

The puzzles involve the physical features of the Zoombinis as part of the solution. For example, in the puzzle 'Allergic Cliffs', the player is given a choice of 2 bridges, each of which will allow Zoombinis to pass only if they have certain combinations of features such as 'red nose', but as the difficulty increases, the combinations will require more than one body part such as nose and hair making the puzzles gradually harder to work out. The list of available features is as follows:

Hair: Shaggy hair, a ponytail, flat-topped hair, a small tuft, and bobbed hair with a cap.
Eyes: Wide eyes, one eye, sleepy eyes, glasses, and sunglasses.
Noses: Shamrock (green), tangerine (orange/yellow, scarlet (red), violet (purple), and cerulean (blue).
Feet: Shoes, roller skates, a spring, two wheels, and propellers.

In total, the number of unique combinations is 625, and the player has to save 625 Zoombinis in total. The player can opt to have up to two identical Zoombinis in play if they prefer, meaning that in a single game, not all Zoombini combinations have to be used.

Name changes[]

The original release of the game by Broderbund Europe in March 1996 came in three languages: British (v1.0BR), French (v1.0FR), and German (v1.0DE). The US division of Broderbund made some minor changes and released a US version (v1.1) in December 1996. As part of the US release they chose to change the names of several areas of the game as follows:

  • Zoombiniton was renamed to Zoombiniville.
  • The Marshy Trail was renamed to Who's Bayou.
  • Didimension Hotel was renamed to Hotel Dimensia.

Remake (v2.0)[]

The US version of the game (v1.1) was expanded and republished as "Zoombinis: Logical Journey v2.0" by The Learning Company in 2001.

System requirements of v2.0[]

  • Processor: Intel Pentium 166 MHz and faster
  • RAM: 32 MB or more
  • Hard disk space: 40 MB or more (not including 7 MB for Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • Video card: 16-bit video card
  • Sound card: Windows-compatible sound card
  • Speakers
  • Operating system: Mac OS 8.6 and later, Mac OS X through 10.4 (Tiger) [1], but not 10.5 (Leopard) or later, which does not support the Classic runtime environment
  • Processor: PowerPC 180 MHz and faster
  • RAM: 32 MB or more
  • Hard disk space: 40 MB or more (not including 7 MB for Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • Video card: 16-bit video card
  • Speakers


There are currently two more games in the Zoombini franchise, Zoombinis Mountain Rescue and Zoombini Island Odyssey

See Also[]