Many horror games have the player explore old mansions, bizarre science facilities, or other creepy locations. Baldi’s Basics in Education and Learning is the only one which takes place in a brightly lit elementary school from a 90’s edutainment game.
Baldi’s Basics is a game developed by Micah McGonigal for PC and Mac that takes inspiration from 90’s edutainment games such as Sonic’s Schoolhouse and I.M. Meen. You take the role of a kid going to school after hours in order to collect your friend’s seven notebooks. However, you have to deal with Baldi, a math teacher with incredible hearing who likes to quiz his students. Whenever you pick up a notebook, Baldi will have you solve some basic math questions. If (when) you get one wrong, Baldi will become extremely angry with your lack of mathematical knowledge. Angry enough to stalk the halls of the school to punish you. And he’s got a ruler with your butt’s name on it.
The game plays similarly to the hit horror game Slender, where you collect certain items while avoiding the antagonist. Spicing things up in this game are secondary characters that impede your progress. You might get put in detention by the principal for breaking the rules, be forced to play jump rope by a sketchy-looking girl, or you might get swept away by an enthusiastic broom that’s “Gotta SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP!” Balancing the odds are items you can use to gain an advantage over Baldi. These items include chocolate bars that briefly give you infinite energy, sodas that blast away enemies, and a cassette tape that plays an obnoxious tone when put in a cassette player, disorienting Baldi.
A recent update to the game has added some new features, including a new character, an endless mode where you get as many notebooks as you can, and a new ending to discover. The game can be downloaded on itch.io here.