List of video games from The Magic School Bus
The educational software made by Microsoft includes:
Most of the original titles were created by the software company Music Pen in collaboration with Microsoft and Scholastic Press, the publisher of the Magic School Bus book series. Though in the cartoon series, the bus was obviously animated in the usual way, in the CD-ROM games, it is typically animated with computer generated imagery. In all these titles the user gets to "drive" the bus, which almost always involves clicking on the steering wheel and choosing a location. (The exception is The Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth where it is the gear shift instead of the steering wheel.) Most of the games have about seven different locations, including the classroom. There is always some goal for the user in each one.
- The Magic School Bus Explores the Solar System (1994)-(1997)
- 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," except that Ms. Frizzle is lost as soon as the bus flies away from Earth. The user can fly the bus to any planet he or she chooses and play experiments and click on things there. To win the game, the user has to discover the whereabouts of the Friz. To do so they have to play a "whatsit" game to earn a token which gives them a clue as to which planet Ms. Frizzle is on. Once Ms. Frizzle is found, the bus will return to the classroom and the game begins again. You can visit all 9 planets plus the moon. However, if you try to get out of the bus on Earth before Ms. Frizzle is found, Liz will say "You're giving up too soon! You still haven't found the Friz! Don't you want to keep playing?" (This game is also one of the few in the series in which Liz can talk.) When the gas giants are visited, the bus lands on one of their moons.
- The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body (1994)-(1997)
- This program is based on the book The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body and the episode The Magic School Bus for Lunch. Arnold has become the class' next field trip. The user can drive the bus to 12 different organs. In some locations, the player can leave the bus. Each place has an arcade game and a science experiment. There is a great deal to explore, but will the class ever get out of Arnold?
- The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean (1995)-(1998)
- This game is based on The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor and the TV episode The Magic School Bus Gets Eaten. The class has taken a field trip to the beach. There they found a message in a bottle; with clues to a treasure. The user explores the ocean and follows clues that lead him/her to the treasure. This was the first CD-ROM that featured the entire cast on the bus. (In The Magic School Bus Explores the Solar System, Ms. Frizzle was missing; and in The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body, Arnold wasn't in the bus, because the bus was in Arnold.) This is also the only one where the classroom can't be visited. Also, this is the first game that has activities to do in the back of the school bus. This is also the first game to save the game in multiple files. A Nintendo DS version was released in 2011.
- The Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth (1996)-(1999)
- This product is based on the book The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth and the television episode "The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top." Arnold has lost some of the rocks and minerals in his collection. The user explores several places such a canyon, a geode, a fault, a volcano, and even an undersea environment which features a subduction zone, a mid-ocean ridge, and an underwater volcano. The user can collect rocks in various ways. The goal is to find replacements for the rocks and minerals Arnold lost. When the user creates a file, up to 6 files can be saved at the maximum. This is considered to be the best game out of them all. Even though Liz speaks in this one too like in Explores the Solar System and Explores the Human Body, instead of a high pitched tone in the first two CD roms (Explores the Solar System and Explores the Human Body) her voice in this one that she speaks-it is deep instead of a high pitched tone.
- The Magic School Bus Explores In the Age of Dinosaurs (1996)-(1999)
- This game is based on the book The Magic School Bus in the Age of Dinosaurs and the TV episode The Magic School Bus : The Busasaurus. Ms. Frizzle is missing some photographs from her photo album of her last trip to the age of dinosaurs. As usual, the user has to find replacements. There are seven different places, including "Jurassic Colorado" and "Triassic Argentina." Unlike the book (and in the TV episode-The Magic School Bus: The Busasaurus), the Bus transforms into three different dinosaurs: a coelophysoid (Coelophysis-or Rioaribbasaurus) for the Triassic Period, Stegosaurus for the Jurassic Period, and Pterodon for the Cretaceous Period. This game has very elaborate CGI forms for the bus. Although the classroom location song has changed in the following games, the game's classroom location song is the same as The Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth, but had added more rhythm in between. The classroom theme song in this game was re-used in the following game, The Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest. Also, in this game the user can replace previously saved data on one of the files when all 6 have already been saved (In The Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth, if all 6 files were saved, a new data would replace one of them at random if saving the game).
- The Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest (1997)-(2000)
- The class is decorating their classroom for "Rainforest Day." Wanda brought a "Right-Away-Rainforest Toolbox" that could do the job, but some "bio-clones" are missing from the kit. Ms. Frizzle takes the class on a field trip to the Costa Rican rainforest to find the missing "bio-clones." This is the only time Ms. Frizzle's middle name is mentioned. This game was the first of the CD-ROM series not to be based on one of the books. It was also the last one created by Music Pen.
- The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals (1999)-(2001)
- While Tina Marie Goff continues her role as Ms. Frizzle in the software series, this is the first game of the software series to replace the original voice actors of the eight children from the television show. In this game, the user has to find all the four missing animals from the incorrect habitats and send them back to their own habitats where they each belong. Unlike the previous games, the user enters his or her name before playing the game instead of creating a file within creating a face on the Driver's License screen, and the save option was removed so the game is automatically saved when quitting the game.
- The Magic School Bus Explores Bugs (2000)-(2002)
- The replacement voice actors from Animals continue their roles in this game, in which pairs of the children have designed biodomes for a contest, but each pair has lost one of the bugs from their projects. The player's task in this game is to find a specimen of each of the four missing bugs in one of four natural habitats.
- Scholastic's The Magic School Bus: Space Exploration Game (1995)
- This was the only game created on a medium other than PC CD-ROM. The premise was for the Magic School Bus to select a destination (starting with The Moon and reaching all the way out to Pluto). The game would then follow the same format, where Ms. Frizzle would take off into outer space, and the player (As Phoebe) would have to find her. All missions consisted of flying to the planet (while taking photographs of various space objects, shooting apart meteors, and collecting "space buoys" for fuel), landing the bus on a platform successfully, traversing the planet on foot to find Ms. Frizzle, and finally, putting together a sliding jigsaw puzzle to complete the stage. All this with plenty of bonus games along the way, one based heavily on Asteroids and the other on Breakout.