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Arthur's Birthday

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Title Screen

Arthur's Birthday

Developer: Brøderbund
Publishers: Brøderbund, Random House
Platforms: Mac OS Classic, Windows
Released in US: 1994


Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


Arthur's Birthday is a Living Books adaptation featuring the titular aardvark in an animated role two years before his eponymous TV show. Arthur invites his friends to his birthday party, only to learn that Muffy's birthday is the same day. This drives a wedge through the friend group as they have to choose between Arthur and Muffy.

Revisional Differences

The game was updated in 1997 to bring it more in line with later Living Books games. Internally, the first version is v1.0 and the second is v2.0.

General

  • The second version bumped the resolution up from 512x384 to 640x480. Every page now has a little extra space to it as a result, which frequently means there are additional click points to take advantage of that and some more details that couldn't be seen before due to previously being off-screen.
  • Spanish was removed as a language option, so the game now can only be played in English.
  • Since activities weren't standard for the series when the original released, this version adds two activities: Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and The Great Gift Mystery. Pin the Tail is a standalone activity, like most of them. Gift Mystery is special in that it is played over the course of the story; you are tasked with finding clues hidden on the pages that will tell you which gift comes from which character.

Main Menu

The main menu in v1 has buttons to switch between English and Spanish language options. v2 removed the buttons (locking the game to English) and added buttons for two minigames, Mystery and Pin the Tail. All of the UI elements are smaller in the revised menu, including Arthur, due to the resolution increase.

v1.0 v2.0
Arthurs birthday pc 3.png
Arthurs birthday pc 2.png

Minor Changes

  • The Living Books logo was updated to the then-current version.
  • Due to improvements to the game engine made since v1, v2 is capable of playing more than one sound at a time. This also means ambient noises continue to play even while a click point is running.
  • The audio quality was improved from the first version, with every sound now playing at a 22 KHz sampling rate instead of 11 KHz like the original.
  • A few click points that are present in both releases were altered in this version:
    • Page 6 included a click point where a jar of jelly and a jar of jam argue with each other. While this click point exists in both versions, a newly added one on Page 1 had to be done with new voices, and as such this one was re-voiced to make it consistent.
    • Also on Page 6, during the page opening Arthur opens up a card where three dollar bills fall to the floor. In v1, we don't actually see the bills fall to the floor, as the floor is off-screen. When clicking on him, he would pick up the dollar bills, and this animation could play as often as you wanted. In v2, the resolution increase led to the floor now being visible and as such the player can now actually see the dollar bills on the floor; after he picks them up, they are picked off the floor and thus no longer visible, so clicking Arthur again now plays a different click point entirely (one that also was present in v1, where his mother says "Don't forget to thank Uncle Bud!").