Bronkie Health Hero

AKA Bronkie the Bronchiosaurus
AKA Bronkie the Bronchiosaurus

Bronkie Health Hero is an attempt at bringing an “educational” game to the SNES.  Its purported purpose is to teach kids how to deal with asthma.  You have to navigate Brokie and his friends through a world fraught with evil asthma triggers like dust and smoke.  Oh noes!

Watch out for scary asthma triggers!
Watch out for scary asthma triggers!

The concept is cute, but poorly executed.  I’m all for the idea of educational games, but the only thing this game teaches is that asthma is an exercise in frustration.  The gameplay is a poorly slapped together platform and obstacle course that has nothing to do with anything.  Obviously dinosaurs with asthma need to leap around tall buildings and avoid cigarettes.

Every now and again you come across a special dinosaur that asks you a question about asthma that you have to answer to move on.  Except, there’s no way to tell these special dinosaurs apart from the ones that are trying to worsen your asthma, so you end up trying to whack them a few times before you realise it’s ok to touch them.

Before you are allowed to breath, first you must answer these questions three.
Before you are allowed to breath, first you must answer these questions three.

Then there are the random tutorials inserted into the game, which you CAN’T SKIP!  Grrrr… I only need to be taught to use an inhaler so many times…

Inhalers are your friends!
Inhalers are your friends!

Really, this game would have been a lot better if it didn’t try to make itself into a platform game, and just focused on the educational content, like a quiz game or something of the sort. The most fun in the game is trying to deliberately expose the dinosaurs to smoke and laugh as the screen gets more and more black until the suffocate!

Verdict: Bronkie is cute and the concept of an educational game is sound, but it fails by trying to make a platform game out of it with the typical misguided “let’s slap together a bunch of things that kids like so that they’ll learn” mindset.  If it had been better thought out, it could have had a bigger impact, both as an educational tool, and as a game.

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