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Video Game / Dr. Health'nstein's Body Fun

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Dr. Health'nstein's Body Fun is an Edutainment Game released for the PC and Apple Macintosh. It was created by Star Press Multimedia as a way to teach kids about the importance of eating right, exercising right and avoiding bad habits that will become pitfalls to your health later in life.

To do this, the player will go through an obstacle course dubbed "The Road To Life", a long, gold-colored road littered with pit-stops and divided into segments that, upon its full completion, will dub the player as the champion.

The player starts off as a ten-year-old kid whose name, gender and skin-color is decided by you (but whose general appearance remains the same). Once created, they are launched onto the start of the Road To Life where they will stop at every pit-stop and trigger its effects until they reach that segment's end. During each stop, your character will gradually age, and your goal is to add points to your Health Score, a point system that increases or decreases based on the actions you take during a stop's event. The goal is to have enough Health Points to be able to be healthy enough to beat the boss, who waits for you at the end of that segment. Win, and your character's graphic is aged up and ready for the next segment. Lose, and you have to start over. There are four segments in all, including Youth, Young Adult, Middle-Age and Elderly. Each segment consists of one of these events:

  • A meal where you have to click and drag food from a random assortment onto your plate. You have to keep in mind the food's benefits to your diet (which consists of a lot of needs, but high fiber and low calories and fat are almost always ideal) until you've either hit a maximum of 20 food objects or whenever you think you have a complete meal. When you're done, the meal will be scored and give you a maximum of +3 or a minimum of -3 points to your Health Score based on how healthy the meal is and how much it meets your body's current needs. note 
  • A treasure chest holding chance cards. These chance cards are random, but its effects can be a positive +1 or +2 boost to your score, or a negative -1 or negative -2 score based on the little things your character did while you weren't looking that can be deemed healthy or unhealthy. note 
  • A gym where you decide what your character will exercise with and for how long. The first instance you see this event (in the Youth chapter) it will be a choice of what sport you'd like to play. In nearly every other time, you get to pick from one of three work out machines to use. No matter what you pick, you must move a slider to decide how many hours or half-hours you'd like to work on this game/machine. How many hours you can do is dependent on your character's health and fitness. If you choose to play a game or use a machine in a span of time lower than you're capable of handling, you are guaranteed to win points, but the fact you didn't push yourself will be noted and could earn you +2 or a measly +1 to your score as well as your overall body score nagging at you for your lack of fitness. If you push to your limit (or as close a guess to your limit) you could gain a maximum of +3 to your score. However, if you choose to work out for a span of time longer than your body can handle, Health'nstein will warn you beforehand of the fact and there will be a high chance that you will be injured and fail the event, earning you nothing. Once you select how long you want to exercise, you will hear your progress in the form of a theme that gradually gets more tense the closer your character is to their limit, ending with disasters (from crashing and burning, to having an ambulance called over, etc).
  • A visit to a cave, home of The Imp (but only in every segment after Youth and works a bit differently in Elderly). When you enter, you are trapped inside the Cave of Temptations and the only way to exit the cave is to spin the Wheel of Weakness, which, depending on what it lands on, will cause your character to automatically take up one of three drug habits: drinking, smoking or dope. To avoid actually doing whatever bad habit was thrusted onto you by the wheel, you are then presented with a multiple choice question related to drug use. Some questions have multiple answers that could technically apply, but only the best answer will be accepted.note  Get it right, and your character avoids doing the drug thrown at them and you avoid losing any points to your score. Get it wrong (or not right enough), and you will do the bad habit and take a nasty -5 penalty to your score as a result. The Elderly version of this, however, is different. Instead, the challenge is about gambling and you can put up to 10 health points on the line to try and see if you can spin a larger number (between 1-5) than the Imp (but you have to bet at least 1 point). Win, and you get double of whatever you bet. Lose, and you lose whatever amount you've bet.
  • A vending machine where you get a pick at one piece of food to have as a snack out of several. You have to pick out what you think is the healthiest of the snacks for points between +3 and -3.
  • A unique event for that segment, which may be a more upgraded version of one of the other events above. This includes:
    • An obstacle course where you can adjust how grueling it can be and rake up a huge point score bonus if you can manage it or have your score take a nosedive if you fail.
    • A huge maze where the splits in the road greet you with a type of food served with two variants, one for each path. You must pick which of the two variants are healthier to follow the correct path. If you can escape the maze before you run out of tries (the number of tries you're given being based on the difficulty level of the maze you chose, where the hardest requires you to make a perfect run), you get a major boost to your score. Fail, and you lose some points before you're set free.
    • A room featuring three pillars which can extend or retract and stand between the entrance and a window to the exit high up on the opposite end of the room. You must answer health-related questions from correctly identifying types of minerals to what boosts certain foods can give (such as milk is a good source of calcium, for instance) to make the pillar you're standing on raise by an inch for each correct answer. Similarly, each incorrect answer will lower the pillar an inch. Your goal is to raise your pillar to the height of the next pillar until you can walk onto it, then repeat the process until you can raise the last pillar to the height of the window and escape. You get points for completing this, but even more points if you can do so with the least amount of errors possible. If you lower a pillar enough, however, your character will drop and you will lose points for failure.
  • A boss battle. The battle features your opponent, who is a skilled athlete in that segment's particular sport. You are first greeted to the opponent themselves where you can get brief details of themselves and their dietary habits. Then you get to see your character and them go into action as they compete. The success rate your character has depends on their health score, and if they win, they will be able to age up and move on to the next segment. Lose, and you are greeted to a small description of your opponent's win and a hint to how many points you need to beat them before you're kicked back to the character generator.

In addition to the Road To Life, there is also a laboratory you could visit that includes a dictionary of nutritional facts, a small set of mini-games, a few movies related to long-term health (such as the cause of heart attack), and a body machine that displays the effects of having a high dosage of something (the "something" being anything from alcohol to calcium) in the body.

A version of the Road To Life is also online.

This game provides examples of:

  • Luck-Based Mission: The chance cards And the Imp's challenge in the Elderly segment
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Subverted. Your character's age will gradually climb as you complete the many events, but won't physically age until after they beat the boss of that segment, where their age difference will finally catch up to them.
  • Palette Swap: The male and female characters feature the exact same models shared for that age group until they age up, differing only in hair and skin color at the player's whim.
  • Scare Chord: If you get an answer wrong in the Cave of Temptations, you are greeted with an earful of blaring pipe organs. An alternative sour chime also plays if you get answers or selections wrong elsewhere.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The themes that play during the exercise segments start off hasty or exciting and gradually get even more tense as it builds up to whether or not your character breaks themselves.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Long Legs, who comes as a nasty surprise if you don't start farming points as early as part of the Youth segment.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Cleo of the Nile, the first boss you encounter, requires 59 health points to beat. You start with 50.

Alternative Title(s): Healthensteins Body Fun