The Magic School Bus is the basis for a multimedia project for children headed by Scholastic. The Magic School Bus characters and stories appear in television shows, books, board games, and CD-ROM computer games, always with a lesson to be learned and an emphasis on fun and understanding. In the show and games, magic is used to demonstrate science and technology. Often, schoolmates Arnold, Phoebe, Carlos, Mikey, Wanda, and the other kids in Ms. Frizzle's class are shrunk or transformed, to help them see everyday science from a whole new perspective. Of course, having a Magic School Bus to take the class to all sorts of fantastic places helps to keep the learning fresh and interesting.
In this episode, The Magic School Bus blasts off into space to give the class a ride through the solar system. Ms. Frizzle gets lost along the way, so the kids will have to do some exploring to figure out where she's gone. The class will investigate all nine planets through the course of this adventure. Detailed photography and full motion video help to illustrate important ideas. Ten topic-related games will keep players busy and nine different reports will help to bring everything the class learns back home to Earth.
In this first game in the series, Ms. Frizzle is lost as soon as the bus flies off into space and the goal of the game is to locate her using the clues she provides. This is essentially a computer version of the book The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System and the cartoon episode "The Magic School Bus Lost in Space,". The Friz's hiding place varies throughout the game. As would become the standard for the remainder of the games in the original software series, the main screen consists of the bus's dashboard, where the user can "drive" the bus to any of the nine planets or Earth's moon. Since Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune lack solid surfaces, the bus instead lands on one of their moons (Io for Jupiter, Mimas for Saturn, Miranda for Uranus and Triton for Neptune.) Once on a planet, the user can exit the bus, where a strange satellite called the "whatsit" must be clicked on to bring up an arcade-styled game in which the user, controlling one of the students, must collect one of Ms. Frizzle's tokens (giant coins with Ms. Frizzle's face on them) which provide the user with a clue as to the Friz's whereabouts and activate the "Friz-finder." There are only three clues available, but tokens will still need to be collected to activate the "Friz-finder" after all the clues have been exhausted. Clicking on the "Friz-finder" will determine whether Ms. Frizzle is anywhere on the current planet. If she is, then the game is completed, but if she is not then the user will have to collect another token to activate the "Friz-finder" to try again. There are also a bunch of different surprises, including a singing barbershop group of rocks called "the Cratertots".
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