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Richard Scarry's Busytown

From Sega Retro

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Busytown title.png
Richard Scarry's Busytown
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Peripherals supported: Mega Mouse
Genre: Educational






























Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
US
$? 1552



Richard Scarry's Busytown is a Sega Mega Drive and MS-DOS game that was released under the Sega Club series in 1994. This game is based on the television show The Busy World of Richard Scarry produced by CINAR and Paramount Television; it consists of an interactive story book 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. Young gamers will do everything from building things to delivering something to repair a ship. Games are relatively short and the entire title can be finished in about an hour. Familiar faces from Richard Scarry's works of literature, such as Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm, appear throughout the game.

Gameplay

The title is divided into six different mini-games—Bruno's Deli, Captain Salty, Building House, Delivery Truck, Fire Station and The Wind—accessible from a world map navigated by Lowly Worm's apple helicopter. Each game features a help post in the stage, which lets players hear instructions in the event that they forget the game's directions or are confused. Younger players benefit from a "sparkle" system showing them where to place an item after picking it up; however, this can be disabled from the options screen. The options screen also includes a music and sound effects test screen.

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 video games of that era. Characters act and talk like their counterparts in the books and the cartoon series. Delivering products allows the town to slowly come to life, similar to a juvenile version of SimCity.

Screenshot Description
Busytown brunosdeli.png Bruno's Deli has Huckle Cat taking over operations for Bruno for the day, filling orders for various customers as they enter the deli. Potential orders are grouped by color: dairy items (grey), desserts (pink), fruit (purple), grains (orange), vegetables (green), and other (white.) Bafflingly, a hamburger is considered a "grain" while a hot dog is "other." Additionally, there are three possible drink choices: milk, lemonade or hot chocolate; players press and hold a button to fill the drink into a cup. After a number of orders have been served, Bruno will return to the deli and thanks Huckle for his work.
Busytown captainsalty.png Captain Salty has players operating a crane in the docks of Busytown, loading parts onto a ship such as the rudder, fuel tank and luggage. When this task is done, the ship's captain returns and the crew, a group of mice, will start parachuting down from the sky. Use the D-pad to guide them to their locations on the ship. After they're at their stations, players control the captain. Pick up the can of paint and paint the boat by holding down the 'A' button and moving all over the red section over the boat. The top part will be yellow, and the bottom part will be black. The ship then sails off with its new paint job completed.
Busytown buildinghouse.png Building House has Huckle Cat assisting a developer in building a house for a new family. Players build a chimney and roof using the directional pad or mouse and the action button. Afterwards, the developer has Huckle move items into the house, such as a furnace, water heater and air duct, while explaining their purpose in a house. Afterwards, the player tests the functions of all the installed items and furniture. Upon exiting the game, the player can see the new family as they move into the household.
Busytown deliverytruck.png Building Truck has Huckle and Lowly driving a truck, making deliveries to various businesses and areas in Busytown (the legality of children driving trucks is never discussed.) Players start at a warehouse and then deliver the product, avoiding hazards such as manholes, trash cans and construction; hitting these or running into something results in a police dog escorting the truck back to the warehouse to try again. Delivered items show up in shop windows, outside the Cafe Ole restaurant, and the park. After a number of items are delivered, the game ends and Huckle is thanked for his service.
Busytown firestation.png Fire Station has players controlling a nameless pig firefighter. Various items needed for the fire truck are placed onto the truck; the pig then falls asleep. A fire call will go out and the players will need to dress the pig and get him in the firetruck. Upon arriving at the scene, the player and another pig firefighter help members of a family jump out of their house. Climbing the fire truck's ladder, the player then needs to aim water to put out the fire; missing will cause the windows of the house to bust. At the end, the family thanks the firefighters for their work.
Busytown thewind.png The Wind is a less traditional minigame where the player controls the wind, represented as a little tornado. Players can interact with a pig reading the newspaper, birds in trees, the clouds (blowing the wind on the clouds will cause the clouds to cover the sun and turn the level dark), ships, a beach station, a hot air balloon, a goose, and Huckle's kite.

Production credits

  • Producer: Cindy Claveran
  • Game Design: András Császár, Zoltán Czászár (Sultan)
  • Project Manager: Péter Agócs
  • Artwork: Kåroly Gögös, Tamás Csige
  • Program: Balázs Makó, Zoltán Toth
  • Sound: András Magyari
  • Test Lead: Greg Becksted
  • Product Manager: Charlie Altekruse
  • Special Thanks: Suzie Domnick, Renee Froix, Keith Higashihara, Pam Newton, Michaelene Cristini Risley, Clint Dyer

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
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Sega Mega Drive
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Mega Drive, US
RSBusytown MD US Box.jpg
Cover
RSBusytown MD US Cart.jpg
Cart

References