Digital sleuths have obtained one of the most elusive video games to date. According to Kotaku, game conservationists Forest of Illusion have obtainedeSmart 2.0, a very rare Nintendo DS training game distributed to Japanese McDonald’s employees in 2010. As enthusiast and game hunter Coddy Trentuit explained, the cartridge popped up in multiple frustrating online auctions and required an alliance of generous contributors (including Forest of Illusion) before it reached people willing to share the title with the community.
You won’t want to fire up eSmart 2.0 for the riveting gameplay. As you’d expect, this really is a training exercise with game elements. You learn to complete orders for counter and drive-thru customers, with videos illustrating the finer points of making Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets. It’s better than a dry training video, but you’ll want to fire up a game like Overcooked if you want a genuinely fun restaurant experience.
We wouldn’t count on the training game being easily available for long given that it wasn’t meant for the general public. That it’s in the hands of any archivists is still notable. As with unofficial releases for SimRefinery, PS2 game prototypes and similar projects, this is ultimately an attempt preserving little-known chapters of gaming history that could easily disappear forever.