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SummaryAn excellent showcase of Humongous Entertainment's sense of humour. And I guess there's an acceptable edutainment game in there somewhere, too.
The GoodThis second entry in the Junior Field Trip series marks a huge improvement over its predecessor when it comes to clickpoints. Contrary to the relatively tame clickpoints last time, this game's developers went completely off the wall with them. Many screens are filled to the brim with clickpoints, and they are full of exactly the kind of wackiness you'd expect from Humongous Entertainment games. The character dialogue and background animations are just as absurd. The people who worked on them clearly did not take their job seriously in the slightest, and the results are often quite amusing. Whether it's an overly enthusiastic car dealer trying to convince someone to rent a small purple convertible that can take its driver to the moon, a pilot being told not to land on the freshly waxed runway with his filthy wheels, or the "Days without accident" counter resetting after an employee falls off his chair, there is no shortage of hilarious weirdness in this game.
The BadWhat's that you're asking? You want to know about the actual meat of the game? Oh right. All the fluff around the game is so much more memorable that I almost forgot its main components exist as well. Well, since MobyGames offers no section for things that are simply okay, I guess I'll have to discuss this here instead, even if it's not really bad for the most part. Just unremarkable.
Like last time, the core of the game is simply a generic children's encyclopedia with some limited interactivity. It's not a poor effort by any means. Just a bit dry. Although as a consequence of being set at an airport, some of the information is now a bit outdated. This is partly due to the technological changes since the game's release, but also due to certain events that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Buzzy's dialogue is more useful than last time, but it still doesn't give him much of a personality. I guess the images in the encyclopedia entries are an improvement, since some of them are now animated while a few others include hotlinks to other pages.
The minigames were originally a completely new addition for this game, but since they were backported to its prequel, they're no longer as much of a novelty. Find It is largely the same as last time, except that the easy and medium difficulties now share the same set of objects for some reason. And the coloring book and trivia game are simply the same games adapted to the new setting.
In Junior Field Trip tradition, there are two minigames unique to this game. The educational one, What Is It?, is pretty dull. It simply asks you to name the object whose image you are shown. Some of them aren't even airport-themed. Fortunately, the non-educational one, Lost Luggage, is a fairly entertaining puzzle game. It has a lot of RNG, but learning to prepare for every possible outcome is part of its appeal. Nearly all of the levels are designed in a way that allows you to always win with enough patience and flexibility, no matter how unlucky you are. The two unfortunate exceptions to this are levels 61 and 99. The former has a design error that can occasionally make you lose through no fault of your own. The latter on the other hand is a sadistically cruel level designed to be nearly unwinnable. Supposedly, the game's developer put it at the end of the game in order to ensure that nobody will notice the lack of an ending sequence. You don't actually have to beat it for the game to be treated as 100% completed, but it still puts a sour note on the game's conclusion.
The graphics are of roughly the same quality as last time. That is to say, both the linework and the coloring are a bit crude. Though I will admit that Buzzy is drawn far better than before. His counterpart from Let's Explore the Farm looks downright terrible in comparison. Most of the music tracks are the exact same (as they were simply backported to Let's Explore the Farm when it got its enhanced rerelease), so they're nothing special either. Lost Luggage has a few unique tracks, but they're also just elevator music. Although it is a nice touch that you can hear some of George Sanger's music from Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon and the first Freddi Fish on some of the screens.