Buzzy The Knowledge Bug
is a series of children's computer games made by Humongous Entertainment
. Each game played out like a visual encyclopedia, where you would be going through the farm, the airport, or the jungle (depending on the game). You would be able to trigger the many click points
to see all the random inanimate objects come to life, as well as use the "What is this?" command to click on anything in the scenery and be taken to its definition in the index. Each game also included five mini-games, three which were always a coloring book, an "I Spy" styled Find It game, and Trivia. Two of them, on the other hand, changed from game to game. One of them was a puzzle game (Hangman in The Farm
, "What is It?" in The Airport
, and an unscramble-the-word game in The Jungle
), but the other was an arcade-styled game.
The games consisted of:
- Let's Explore the Farm with Buzzy the Knowledge Bug
- Let's Explore the Airport with Buzzy the Knowledge Bug
- Let's Explore the Jungle with Buzzy the Knowledge Bug
The series didn't last very long before falling to the wayside, mostly because they didn't quite live up to the popularity of Humongous' other games. Indeed, they are not as well remembered as the point-and-click Adventure Games
or the Backyard Sports
. That said, they still have their own following in the Humongous fanbase.
- Art Evolution: With Buzzy. In The Farm, he looked very stylized, much skinnier than normal, and rather stiff. The Airport fleshed him out a bit but he still moved rather stiffly. It was The Jungle where he was the most animated and most resembled the box art.
- Compilation Re-release: The games were repackaged into the "Junior Field Trips Collection" in 1997, two years after their initial releases.
- Dummied Out:
- Let's Explore the Airport
- The game has several unused scenes that can be triggered by adding "Attitude=1" to the game's INI file. The most popular is Buzzy burping, followed by him saying, "Now that's a lotta gas!''
- The game's HE4 file contains unused music for the waiting room from Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise and Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, likely due to copyright issues.
- Holiday Mode: All three of the games have special things set for if you have a birthday entered in the INI file (explained in the help file), but Let's Explore the Farm takes it a step further and has special things set for Halloween and Independence day. On Halloween, you will see a Jack-o-Lantern in front of the farmer's home, and on the Fourth of July, the farmer's chimney shoots fireworks.
- In-Series Nickname: Two of them. They often just referred to them as The [Location] and the Junior Field Trips.
- Luck-Based Mission: Lost Luggage in The Airport takes this to an extreme in Level 99. There are several chutes all of the same type, where if you put a suitcase down one it could come out of any of the other five. It gets even worse when you see how not only is the chute they come out of random, but the direction they come out is random too. There is no way to stop a suitcase from going into the wrong colored basket if it doesn't go your way. The odds are stacked against you in every conceivable way, making it nigh-impossible to beat it. If you actually do manage to beat it, you get sent back to Level 1.
- Former developer Richard Moe later admitted he did this because he was tired of working on the game when he made Level 99 and just wanted to get it shipped, so he decided to be a sadist and make it Unwinnable by Design. He did say he regretted not giving a proper payoff in retrospect, though.
- Misplaced Wildlife: It's bizarre that an educational game series would exhibit this trope, but nonetheless in The Jungle, some wildlife is not found in the proper location. For instance, a tarsier is seen in the Amazon when in real life they are only found in Southeast Asia. Likewise an antbird is seen in the African jungle when in actuality they only live in the Amazon. This wouldn't be as bad if the in-game encyclopedia didn't state the same thing. ("The... Tarsier... is found... in the Amazon jungle.")
- Musical Nod: The Airport has music from Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon and the first Freddi Fish game playing in the waiting room.
- Pop Up Video Games: One of the main gimmicks.
- Shout-Out: So many. The Airport seemed to be the most fond of this, especially in the waiting room:
Paging Mr. Waldo
, Mr. Waldo, where are you?
- The HUD in Anteater Feeder, courtesy of The Jungle, is pretty much a lot like the one in a pretty popular first-person shooter. Right down to the mugshot, animated for about every in-game situation. Every.
- Technology Marches On: Many airplanes featured in The Airport are long gone from airlines. Also, airports have vastly evolved since the game's initial release; the security is much different, for example.