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There is a game I remember playing quite a while ago.

I have only the vaguest recollections of the gameplay. It was a 2D, maybe faux-3D game, I played it with a mouse, inside a window (it was not full-screen); it probably even displayed multiple windows with pretty standard Windows buttons as I passed through stages. There were sounds, lots of them, I think there might have been background music. It may have been some kind of a board game, or a puzzle game with multiple timed rounds. There were probably points. I remember matching up colourful 3D shapes (as in, some platonic solids, pyramid, cube, sphere) against each other. Or maybe the shapes represented pieces on the board. I am not sure. It may have been an educational game, and may have been included on a CD-ROM attached to a textbook for the computing class. It was relatively fast-paced and rather cheesy, though I know it doesn’t really narrow it down.

There is, however, one distinct mechanic that I remember pretty clearly. At random times, in a random corner of the window, a button would appear for a short time (up to a second or so), depicting some kind of a human figure, and the “Toasty!” sound effect from Mortal Kombat would be heard (at a rather low sampling rate, 11 kHz or even 8 kHz; I remember pretty clearly how muffled it sounded); this mechanic was probably a direct reference to that game. I remember the figure as a kind of a sorcerer zapping a lightning from his wand, or maybe from his hands, but in retrospect it might have even been Dan Forden himself with a fancy background. If I managed to click this button before it disappeared, I heard a clapping sound clip and I entered a bonus challenge.

The name may have either started with a Z, or contained repeated occurrences of the Z letter. Based on how I remember it looking, it probably targetted Windows 3.x, and I think I might have actually played it a couple of times under that OS; I have definitely not played it under anything later than Windows 98 SE. It was already rather old by then.

Ring a bell?

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  • I figured I might as well ask this game ID question while we still allow them… Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 14:50
  • Is there a motion to disallow game ID questions? Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 16:07
  • 1
    @WayneConrad More than one (here's the most recent iirc), but none of them have passed.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 17:42
  • So why's this not vote to close when a similar question last week was ?
    – Alan B
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 15:34
  • 2
    Close voters work in mysterious ways. Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 15:58

2 Answers 2

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I believe the game you are looking for is some version of Üz. If you go to 4:25 and wait for a few seconds, you'll hear the "Toasty!" sound:

Screenshot of Üz 3.0 in the middle of level 8, displaying the bonus round button

I found this game on a compilation disk called "Millenium Gamepak," released in 1998 by BearWare.

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  • Well done for the YouTube link, which should allow @user38470 to check whether the sound is as remembered. Commented Mar 6 at 15:13
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    Undoubtedly this. Almost everything (of what I could clearly recall) fits. Commented Mar 6 at 18:18
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    MobyGames has a listing for this game here. I couldn't find any reference to any earlier versions of Üz than version 3.0, but it was shareware with a registered version available. Commented Mar 6 at 19:08
  • Outstanding. This q&a is a textbook case of how useful this type of question is to the asker and also the value of just leaving questions unanswered and open to be answered at a later date. I thank you on behalf of the asker, Brian
    – knol
    Commented Mar 7 at 2:41
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I believe the game that you are talking about is called Zoombinis. Zoombinis was designed for educational purposes and was commonly used in schools to teach logic and problem-solving skills, so it may have been used in your computing class. It was compatible with various operating systems, including windows.

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  • 3
    No, that doesn’t look like it at all. The game I remember had much simpler graphics than even the first game in this series, it had more fast-paced gameplay, and no human-like characters. And I doubt Zoombinis contains the mechanic with the “Toasty!” sound effect anywhere. Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 21:25

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