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Richard Scarry's Busytown

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Richard Scarry's Busytown
Sega Genesis title screen
Developer(s)Novotrade[1] (Sega Genesis version)
Pearson Software[2] (1999 version)
Publisher(s)Sega[3] (Sega Genesis version)
Simon & Schuster[2] (DOS version, remake)
Designer(s)Andras Csaszar[3]
Zoltan Csaszar[3]
Composer(s)Andras Magyari[3]
Platform(s)Sega Genesis
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS
Sega Genesis:
Windows/Mac OS:

Richard Scarry's Busytown is a Sega Genesis and DOS video game that was released for a younger generation of gamers.[4][dead link] This game was based on the series of Best...Ever! series of videotapes distributed by Random House's home video arm preceding 1993's The Busy World of Richard Scarry that was produced by CINAR and Paramount Television.


The game consists of an interactive story book that was written by Richard Scarry. Most of the game is spent exploring Busytown looking for things to interact with using either the gamepad or a special mouse that could be purchased separately from the game and the console system.[4][dead link]

Young gamers will do everything from building a house using construction tools to delivering something to repair a ship. Games are relatively short and can be finished in about an hour. Familiar faces from Richard Scarry's works of literature include Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm.[4] Another game allows players to control the wind in order to cause controlled havoc at the Busytown park and beach. Other games located throughout Busytown include helping finish Mr. Fix-it's latest invention, helping a patient at Dr. Diane's hospital, delivering goods throughout Busytown, helping Smokey the Firefighter prepare a fire engine for extinguishing a house fire, work at a gas station, fill orders at an automated deli, learn basic addition/subtraction on a see-saw, and help Bananas Gorilla get his box of bananas out of a park full of tourists. All games offer basic vocabulary practice as simple puzzles help improve basic problem solving and English language skills.

The voice quality of this game is realistic when compared to the cartoons of that era. All of the characters act and talk like their counterparts in the books and the cartoon series. If the player puts too much lemonade or soda in the glass and spills some out of the glass, then one of the characters may ask the player "Are you blind?" in a gentle voice. Delivering stuff allows the town to slowly come to life. The Sega version omits the Mr. Fix-it, Dr. Diane, gas station, see saw and Bananas Gorilla portions of the game.

Sequel and remake[edit]

There was a sequel for this game titled Richard Scarry's How Things Work in Busytown which received a 1994 North America-exclusive release from Novotrade and Simon & Schuster.[5] Like the original game, it is intended for a pre-kindergarten through second grade audience and was released for DOS in addition to the Macintosh. Children that play this game learn to assemble machinery, bake bread, and complete other processes that are necessary to live life. This game makes kids think where food comes from, how bread is baked, and so on. Different outcomes can be observed through the several different learning methods. Young players can also learn vocabulary, word recognition, and sequencing.[6]

The original Busytown video game was remade in 1999 by Simon & Schuster Software, Pearson Software and Boston Animation. It was released for the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems, and featured improved voice acting, graphics and animation resembling the 1993 Busy World of Richard Scarry animated series. The gameplay is still the same and the original songs from the 1993 release are included. However, the Bananas Gorilla portion of the game was removed. Everything else from the DOS version was carried over to the remake.


Computer Gaming World in January 1994 liked the graphics "in spite of some choppiness in the animation. Richard Scarry's characters are faithfully reproduced". The magazine concluded that "Busytown is a must-have if there's a young child in the house".[7] In April 1994 the magazine said that "Busytown is playful learning at its best".[8]


  1. ^ "Developer information (Sega Genesis version)". Genesis Collective. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  2. ^ a b c d "PC DOS Release information". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Sega Genesis release information". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  4. ^ a b c "Game summary". Sega-16. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  5. ^ Richard Scarry's How Things Work in Busytown – GameFAQs Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Tech Learning Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Mann, Richard O.; McCauley, Dennis; Eiser, Leslie; Haverstock, Mark; Donovan, Felicia; Giovetti, Alfred C.; Savetz, Kevin; Germain, Jack (January 1994). "Reviews". Computer Gaming World. pp. 137–142.
  8. ^ "Invasion Of The Data Stashers". Computer Gaming World. April 1994. pp. 20–42.