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Video Game / JumpStart 1st Grade

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"Oh no, the Glop Monster!"
Ju-Ju-Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump
Jump! Jump! Jump! Start First Grade
Jump! Jump! Jump! Start First Grade
Jump! Jump! Jump! Start First Grade
Jump! Jump! Jump!

JumpStart 1st Grade (known as Jump Ahead Year 1 in the United Kingdom) is the title of two products in the JumpStart series of Edutainment Games, the first released in 1995 and the second in 1999. A third version, released in 2002, was titled JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade instead.

Both the 1995 and 1999 versions take place in a school setting and feature an anthropomorphic dog named Frankie as your Exposition Fairy. The main location is the first-grade classroom, from which you can travel to a school hallway that leads to other locations, such as the cafeteria and the playground. Both versions feature roughly the same educational activities, although sometimes with a changed premise.

In the 1995 version, the school is located in an ordinary suburban neighborhood, and the teachers and students are all human. Aside from Frankie, the only anthropomorphic animals are the mice who live in the classroom's mouse hole. One of these mice will reward you with a milk cap every time you earn one hundred points. The vague goal of the overall game is to collect all the milk caps.


In the 1999 version, the students remain human, but the teachers are now anthropomorphic animals. Additionally, the school is now located on an island, and the overall game has a nautical theme. Instead of earning milk caps, you earn clues that will allow you to take a sailing ship over to a neighboring island and find a treasure. There are six neighboring islands in total, each with their own theme.


The 1995 and 1999 versions of this game provide examples of:

  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Between the 1995 and 1999 versions, Frankie gets a bit more anthropomorphic. In subsequent games, he gets even more anthropomorphic.
  • Big Eater: In the 1995 version, the kids you serve in the cafeteria are apparently so hungry they don't even wait to sit down at a table, devouring their food as soon as you give it to them.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Glynnis Campbell, who is credited in-universe as the author of several bookshelf stories, was also the voice of Mrs. Flores and Miss Pickles in the 1995 version.
  • Cooking Mechanics: Both versions have a cooking minigame in the school kitchen. They are basically the same in terms of gameplay mechanics, although the graphics are entirely different. Messing up in the 1995 version results in a visit by the infamous Glop Monster. In the 1999 version, your mistakes remain non-sentient and are simply eaten by your octopus instructor, Chef Gumbo.
  • Educational Song: Both versions feature several of these. The songs in the 1995 version were written by Mark Beckwith, who is also credited as the author of several bookshelf stories. The 1999 version features all-new songs rather than reusing any from the 1995 version.
  • Funny Animal: The animal teachers in the 1999 version exhibit this level of anthropomorphism. Oddly, their students are humans.
  • Hub Level: The school hallway gets you to all the main areas.
  • In-Game Novel: Both versions feature the same collection of children's stories. In the 1995 version, the whole collection is accessible at once. In the 1999 version, different stories are available based on your Difficulty Level.
  • Mouse Hole: The 1995 version has one in the classroom. It leads to the Hole in the Wall Club, which is inhabited by anthropomorphic mice who form a musical band.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The 1999 version reuses some content from the 1995 version. The bookshelf stories are all the same, complete with the same illustrations, and the art activity is essentially identical.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Frankie wears one at the beach in the 1995 version, never mind that he's naked for the rest of the game.
  • Out Of Control Popcorn: You can trigger an animation of this at the zoo in the 1995 version. This also occurs in the bookshelf story "Popcorn Popping."
  • Pop Up Video Games: In both versions, you can click around and make funny animations happen in just about every location you visit.
  • Punny Name: Frankie is a dachshund, a dog breed also known as a wiener dog because of its wiener-like physique. His name is a shortened version of "frankfurter."
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The bookshelf stories are generally written in rhyme.
  • Video Game Remake: The 1999 version is a remake of the 1995 version, obviously.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Jump Ahead Year 1



A first-grade introduction to Australia.

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Main / LandDownUnder

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