Berenstain Bears Video Games and Computer Software

Back cover of Berenstain Bears Kid Vid Talking Video Game Set for Atari 2600 (Coleco, 1983)
Back cover of the 1983 Berenstain Bears package (Image from Atari Age); notice the game system shown is the short-lived Coleco Gemini, an Atari 2600 clone.
Cover of Berenstain Bears Kid Vid Talking Video Game Set for Atari 2600 (Coleco, 1983)
Front cover of the Coleco Berenstain Bears game pack (Image from AtariAge); a prototype for ColecoVision was developed in 1984 but never released.

The single most valuable piece of Berenstain Bears memorabilia is arguably the infamous Berenstain Bears Atari 2600 game made by Coleco in 1983.  It was the first Berenstain Bears video game, and was very nearly the last, due to the disastrous debut of the “Kid Vid” accessories that were required to play the game.

Only two games were made in the “Kid Vid” series, the Berenstain Bears and the “Smurfs Save the Day.”  Both games require a Kid Vid controller and series of audio cassettes that render the game unplayable on just a regular 2600 console.  Needless to say, the games (and the Kid Vid system, in general) were not popular and quickly disappeared from store shelves (note that the the release of the Berenstain Bears games was right at the time of the North American video game crash of 1983).  The Berenstain Bears game is very obscure and copies have sold for $500 or more if found still mint in shrink wrap.  Depending on condition, copies of the game cartridge itself have sell for between $75 and $200 when they (rarely) appear on eBay.  Of course, it’s not only a “must have” for Berenstain Bears collectors, but is also highly sought after by Atari fans — AtariAge rates the game’s rarity as a 9 out of 10, or “extremely rare” and AtariGuide lists it as “ultra rare.”

Berenstain Bears Junior Jigsaw (Britannica / Compton's New Media) 5.25
5.25″ floppy disks for “The Berenstain Bears Junior Jigsaw.” It was one of several titles published by Britannica/Compton’s New Media in the early 1990s.
Compton's New Media issued two volumes of
Compton’s New Media issued two volumes of “The Berenstain Bears: Learning at Home” on CD-ROM.

Educational software was a big focus of the Berenstains during the 1990s and 2000s. Beginning with software titles for PC/MS-DOS operating systems, titles like “Learn About Counting” and “Learn About Letters” were published on 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks.

In the mid-1990s, CD-ROM technology replaced diskettes, with titles like “Learning at Home” and the Berenstain Bears “Treehouse Classroom.”

It was in the mid-1990s that the Berenstains waded again into the waters of console video games.  The Berenstain Bears were featured on several platforms including Sega Genesis (“Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure”), Sega Pico (“Berenstain Bears: A School Day”), Nintendo Game Boy Color (“Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears”), Nintendo Game Boy Advance (“Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree”), and Sega Game Gear (another version of “Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure”).

“Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears” was even named on the “20 Worst Video Games Ever Made” by Electronic Gaming Monthly.  IMG_4270

And while I’ve never played it, I do have to admit, I don’t really think of the Bear Family as the sort of characters who would have a great interest in or excel at extreme sports (as popularized at the time by the recently-developed X Games).

There are also two software titles not included on the list below, “Learn About Reading” and “Shapes & Numbers,” two pieces of software advertised on Britannica/Compton’s New Media titles “Junior Jigsaw” and “Learning Essentials.”  But after searching for these games since 1998, I still haven’t come across any copies – were they never released? (Or perhaps “Learn about Reading” became “Learn about Letters” and “Shapes & Numbers” was incorporated into “Leaning Essentials”?)

IMG_4273
“Shapes & Numbers” and “Learn About Reading” are advertised on the back panel of this “Junior Jigsaw” software package, but there is no commercial record of their availability. Most likely, these prototypes were never brought to market.

Below is a full list of Video Games and Computer Software in my collection.  Also be sure to check out my related post about Berenstain Bears Board Games, Card Games, and Playsets

Last updated: July 7, 2015

Video Games & Computer Software Format Year
Berenstain Bears Atari 2600/ Coleco Gemini 1983
The Berenstain Bears in Big Paw’s Cave Arcade Console (Enter-Tech/Moppet) 1983/1984
Berenstain Bears Learn About Counting PC 5.25″ and 3.5″ 1990
Berenstain Bears: Junior Jigsaw PC 5.25″ and 3.5″ 1990
Berenstain Bears Learn About Letters PC 5.25″ and 3.5″ 1991
Berenstain Bears: Fun With Colors PC 5.25″ and 3.5″ 1991
Berenstain Bears Learning Essentials PC 3.5″ 1992
Berenstain Bears On Their Own: And You On Your Own CD-i 1993
Berenstain Bears Learning at Home, Vol. 1 DOS/Win CD-ROM 1993
Berenstain Bears Treehouse Classroom DOS CD-ROM 1994
Berenstain Bears Learning at Home, Vol 2 DOS/Win CD-ROM 1994
Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure Sega Genesis 1994
Berenstain Bears: A School Day Sega Pico 1994
Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight Win/Mac CD-ROM 1995
Berenstain Bears in the Dark Win/Mac CD-ROM 1996
Life’s Little Lessons with the Berenstain Bears: How to Get Along With Your Fellow Bear Win/Mac CD-ROM 1999
Life’s Little Lessons with the Berenstain Bears: Time to Clean Up, Pick Up, and Recycle Win/Mac CD-ROM 1999
Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears Nintendo Game Boy Color 2000
Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree Nintendo Game Boy Advance 2001
Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure Sega Game Gear 2003
Life’s Little Lessons with the Berenstain Bears: When Little Bears are Scaredy Bears Win/Mac CD-ROM 2005
Life’s Little Lessons with the Berenstain Bears: Little Bears Make Big Helpers Win/Mac CD-ROM 2006

PDF: Video Games and Computer Software
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