Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals, The
© 1999 Microsoft Corp.
Win 95, Win 98, Win NT (CD-ROM)
Teaches: Science, geography, animals
Four animals are lost and it's up to Ms. Frizzle and the kids to help return them to their homes. The Magic School Bus once again takes off, this time to seven distinct habitats: African savanna, Arctic tundra and ocean, Brazilian rain forest, Himalayan mountains, North America S...
Four animals are lost and it's up to Ms. Frizzle and the kids to help return them to their homes. The Magic School Bus once again takes off, this time to seven distinct habitats: African savanna, Arctic tundra and ocean, Brazilian rain forest, Himalayan mountains, North America Sonoran desert, North American swamp and South Pacific island and reef. As kids visit each locale in search of the misplaced animals, they learn why animals live where they do and what they need to survive. While exploring, children will find 30 games and activities, ranging from fun arcade-style pursuits to more academic challenges. For example, one game popular with testers was Penguins on Ice in which players must guide penguins across a moving maze-like ice flow. In more educational activities, kids classify animals, assemble animal skeletons and learn about animal sounds and tracks. There's also an art area where children can design and print out ecology posters using the animal stamps they've earned by visiting the various habitats. Yet another opportunity for learning is available via eight multimedia reports on amphibians, mammals, endangered species and so on. Finally, when you've found the four lost animals and returned them to their respective homes, you can start the adventure all over again, with all new animals to find. Testers really enjoyed playing the game and thought this Magic School Bus Title was more jam-packed with things to do than its predecessors. It's one of the easier titles to play in the series (we had four- and five-year-old children playing successfully) so it's probably best suited for the younger end of its recommended age range of six to ten. The program will work well in both home and school settings and makes a nice gift, too, since it's just as much fun as it is educational.