Snooper Troops

Snooper Troops is a series of two 1982 adventure/educational video games developed by Spinnaker Software and published by Computer Learning Connection. They were released on Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, and MS-DOS. The first case was entitled Snooper Troops: Case #1: The Granite Point Ghost and the second case entitled Snooper Troops: Case #2 - The Case of the Disappearing Dolphin was released later that year.

Snooper Troops
Developer(s)Spinnaker Software
Publisher(s)Computer Learning Connection
Platform(s)Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS


Snooper Troops was developed by Computer Learning Connection (later renamed Spinnaker Software), at that point a two year old company.[1] The company was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Around this time, Computer Learning Connection created the edutainment classics Snooper Troops and Agent USA,[2] The Search Series and The Other Side.[3] The game is based on the best-selling Snooper Troops detective stories by Tom Snyder.[4] The series was originally meant to have more than two entries, but only two games were made.[5]

The game was written for the home market, and targeted schools due to the application of school-taught skills such as case-solving.[6] It intended to develop vocabulary and reasoning skills.[7] Snooper Troops was marketed nationally on a major scale by Computer Learning Connection; the campaign involved the design and production of packaging intended to maximise the protection of the discs over a long time period.[5] In 1985, Gessler Education Software published The Case of the Disappearing Dolphin in French (on the Apple II), and The Granite Point Ghost in Spanish and German on the Commodore 64.[8]


In the first case, players have to solve the mystery of "The Granite Point Ghost", which has been scaring the Kim family out of their house.[9][10]


In this "mystery simulation",[11] players use the SnoopNet computer to search for clues along the streets, and search in people's houses while they're not at home. If you are caught snooping too many times, the game is over. After gaining enough information, they can convict the criminal.

InfoWorld described the game as an electronic version of the board gamer Cluedo.[12]


According to the book Beyond Edutainment, the game became "one of the first examples of a successful educational adventure", and that along with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and The Oregon Trail helped bring legitimacy to the edutainment genre.[13] The book Disney Stories explained that it is an "early adventure game".[14] Learning How To Learn: Technology, the Seven Multiple Intelligences and Learning asserted the title was an example of "the ways in which computers can enhance student learning".[15] InfoWorld felt that some bugs let down the gaming experience.[16] PC Magazine felt the title was the standard that other educational games would be measured up against.[17] Antic felt the game was not as responsive or creative as Infocom's Deadline (1982).[18]

The two games became the first educational games for home and school computers to make the industry's bestseller list.[19] According to Infoworld, the title sold very well.[20]


  1. Inc, Ziff Davis (1 November 1982). "PC Mag". Ziff Davis, Inc. via Google Books.
  2. Bertoli, Ben (2016-10-10). "The self-destructing game of 1986". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  3. Palmer, Jane; Snyder, Thomas F. F. (1986). "Computer simulations come of age". New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. 1986 (30): 15–24. doi:10.1002/ace.36719863004.
  4. "Spinnaker Software sails into home education". Christian Science Monitor. 1983-09-21. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  5. "News & Products: Spinnaker Software Corp. Markets Home Learning And Strategy Games For Atari And Apple". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  6. Harlow, Steven (1985). Humanistic Perspectives on Computers in the Schools. ISBN 9780866563970.
  7. Inc, Ziff Davis (November 1982). PC Mag. Ziff Davis, Inc. p. 80.
  8. Inc, InfoWorld Media Group (1985-12-02). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
  9. "PC Mag". Ziff Davis, Inc. February–April 1983.
  10. "PC Mag". Ziff Davis, Inc. November 1982.
  11. "Teaching and Computers". 1983.
  12. "InfoWorld". InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. 1983-08-15.
  13. Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon (2013-03-13). Beyond Edutainment: Exploring the Educational Potential of Computer Games. ISBN 9781447693598.
  14. Lee, Newton; Madej, Krystina (2012-04-26). Disney Stories. ISBN 9781461421016.
  15. R., Davis, Russell (May 1991). "Learning How To Learn: Technology, the Seven Multiple Intelligences and Learning". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. Inc, InfoWorld Media Group (1983-08-15). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
  17. "PC Mag". November 1982.
  18. Sickert, Jordan Powell, Roy Wolford, Valerie Pang, Larry Dziegielewski, Harvey Bernstein, David Plotkin, Julie. "8-Bit Product Reviews: Astro Chase, Blue Max, Snooper Troops Case #1, Hockey, Bible Baseball, Career Counselor, Knockout, Microgroup". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  19. (none). "Profile of a snooper trooper". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  20. Inc, InfoWorld Media Group (1984-02-13). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
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