In this second Magic School Bus game based on the educational book series from Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, Ms. Frizzle and her class take a trip inside classmate Arnold's body. From Arnold's head to his toe, the group travels through every system, including the Upper and Lower Digestive System, the Circulatory System, the Respiratory System, Liver, Nervous System and the skin. Only when all the areas and 12 body parts have been visited can the class leave Arnold's body through one of three natural exits.
All actions in this game are performed with the mouse. In the classroom, selecting the skeleton brings up a game of reassembling its bones; clicking on the science projects on the other side of the room trigger animations. Once the bus is selected, the journey begins as the miniaturized vehicle zooms into Arnold's mouth. The player navigates through his body by clicking the steering wheel and selecting directional signs from the bus windshield; each place will lead to at least one other, and all lead to the nervous system from where any section can be visited. On the lower left sits Liz, the class mascot, who can be clicked for help. Clicking the rear view mirror takes the player to the back of the bus, where he can choose Tim's knapsack to access a drawing program, or Ralphie's handheld to play a game related to the current body part. As the player journeys through the body the places he has visited are recorded on a map in the glove box as well as stamped in a travel log, so he can see what has been missed. Unlike later Magic School Bus games, the player is unable to exit the bus, all the action takes place inside and in the classroom.
This multimedia science adventure from the Microsoft Home Series in which Microsoft and Scholastic have combined to produce quality software for children is a sheer delight. Based on the Magic School Bus stories by Joanna Cole, and illustrated by Bruce Degen, it goes well beyond the electronic book.
Educational and fun, the game is based around a group of children going on a field trip with their wacky teacher, Ms Frizzle. However Arnold, one of her students, is reluctant to go so the bus drives off - but far from Arnold missing out on the field trip "Friz" turns him into one! She shrinks the bus down to the size of a biscuit and Arnold swallows it, along with his classmates, Ms Frizzle and, of course, you. Your only escape is by exploring his body and you need to inspect twelve different body parts before you know enough to do so.
After the state-of-the-art Multimedia introduction in which you meet your new classmates, the colorful science classroom in which you find yourself is captivating. It is multimedia at it's very best, eventful, entertaining and educational. You will be lost in a world of intrigue as the objects you click on burst into life. Fish jump out of bowls, science experiments animate, classmates talk to you, you become part of the action.
Next you're on the trip of your life traveling in three dimensions through Arnold's body With twelve body parts to explore, 12 science experiments, 12 games, and dozens of fact sheets and reports, this is a learning experience the traveler will enjoy immensely. The wild and wacky animations are superb. The young user although fully involved and immersed will never feel insecure as "Liz" an adorable animated lizard sits somewhere at the edge of the screen and just has to be clicked on for help.
The Body Map kept in the glove compartment informs the user what body parts they have discovered, so they can see which parts they need to visit in order to escape from Arnold's innards. Morphing the bus and the splat pages are enthralling, body parts float around and when clicked onto the splat page made various splatters, each with it's own gurgling squelching noise. The arcade style games available at each major organ will spur the interest of most young users.
This game is aimed at the 6-10 age group, however I felt that the younger child would need substantial parental help, whilst children of a few years older than 10 would find this game fascinating, even though they would progress through the adventure much quicker.
The Magic School Bus is a Microsoft flagship product in the area of goal oriented exploration, with the primary objective of establishing themselves as the premier supplier of software for this category.
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