Retail Price: £8.95
Author: P Harrap and S Hollingworth
Fred Flintstone is looking forward to the Bedrock Super-Bowl final at the weekend, but Wilma has other ideas: she won't let him go before he's painted the living room.
His reluctant artistic efforts are hampered by his daughter Pebbles, who constantly scribbles on Fred's freshly painted wall, and his live paint brush's desperate bids for freedom!
On finishing the whole wall, Fred and Barney set off for the bowling contest in Fred's jalopy. Hitting one of the road's hazardous outcrops sees the removal of one of the wheels, forcing Fred and Barney to stop and replace it.
On to the Bedrock Superbowl where Fred and Barney slug it out on the polished lanes.
Later, Fred arrives home to the news that Pebbles has escaped and is clinging to a girder on a building site. Fred has to rescue his daughter - or suffer the embarrassment of seeing Barney do the job for him!
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: all your favourite characters in glorious monochrome;
Sound: TV title tune on the 128K, sound effects only on 48K
Options: practise painting or bowling sections
I didn't quite shout 'Yabba Dabba Doo' while playing this but is certainly very playable. None of the four parts are particularly brilliant but together they make quite a fun package. Painting is soon mastered but I couldn't get to grips with the car journey. The bowling is the best part of the game - I love Barney's flamboyant bowling style! - and the rescue scene is just a simple platform game. The graphics are sparsely coloured but do retain some of the humour of the cartoon. The animation is smooth and effective with plenty of nice touches, like Fred frowning while he's doing the painting. On the whole though, the game is slightly too easy and therefore shouldn't take long to complete, losing most of its appeal in the process. Not a bad attempt - but not a fantastic game either.
The trials and tribulations of Fred Flintstone's life often have him screaming with rage. Play Grandslam's game and you'll soon be joining him. Experience the unique frustration of attempting to paint the walls down to the final invisible pixel with a super-human Pebbles at your heels. Even when the wall looks completely covered and you'd need a microscope to see the remaining paintless piece, Wilma and Betty treat you like a jerk. If you're lucky enough to get to the bowling alley you'll participate in a botched and tedious evening off. The controls are primitive, pin-fall is unrealistic and clever, computer-controlled Barney Robot is almost always bound to win. In recreating all the irritating aspects of Fred's life, the programmers have managed to leave out every possible scrap of fun. The cartoon presentation is extremely polished (even the familiar tune is recognisable) and there are plenty of peripheral details; unfortunately they can't stop Bedrock from approaching rock-bottom.
Reviewer: Sean Kelly
Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, have a Yabba Dabba Doo time... Or Yabba Dabba Two time, seeing as this is the second Flintstones game, although no mention of the first one - no wonder really. It was pretty dire as remember.
This Flintstones is set in ye olde worlde prehistoric times, and stars Fred Flintstones with Wilma and Pebbles, and Barney and Betty Rubble making the oocasional appearance. (If Barney was a designer would he be Designer Rubble?) Its the weekend, and Fred's looking forward to the final of the Bedrock Super Bowl contest the following day, but Wilma has other plans for Fred. He must paint the living room before Mother visits, otherwise he gets a good nagging, and no bowling. Simple, eh? Well yes, except Pebbles is partial to a bit of drawing, and insists on helping Daddy by drawing faces and figures over the wall that Fred has just painted, so not only must you try to paint the wall, but also keep the troublesome sprog locked up in her pen. Not easy, especially when every time you grab Pebbles, your paintbrush, a sort of prehistoric skunk, legs it off and tries to escape. Should you by a miracle manage to finish the wall before your time runs out, then it's straight down to the bowling alley.
Aaah, freedom. The summer breeze in your hair the stereo belting out rock music, and lumps of stone all over the road. Eh? Yup, a Flintstones life is not an easy one, 'cos to reach the bowling alley, Fred must jump the car over the rocks strewn all over the road. If Fred hits one, then the back wheel bounces through the air, and he has to leap out, jack the car up and fix the wheel back on. Tricky, I can tell you.
At the bowling alley it's a head to head match between Fred and Barney in the Bedrock Super Bowl contest. Can Fred get the position, spin and speed right in order to get a strike? Or will Barney continue to beat Fred hands down as he did when I was playing?
Just as the match is over, the newspaper arrives with the news that Pebbles has gone missing, and so it's on to the fourth and final part of the game. Fred must rescue her from the top of the block of flats on the building site where she was test sighted. Fred does this by climbing to the top via the ropes, lifts and rock platforms conveniently situated on the outside of the building. If tie falls too many times, the message is flashed up that Barney Rubble has rescued Pebbles instead. Flippin 'eck! If my neighbour was so miraculous that he beat me at bowling and rescued my children, I'd move house.
Mark Edwards must be congratulated for the brilliant graphics on this game. All the characters are excellent copies of their cartoon counterparts, and the opening sequence of Fred finishing work and sliding down the back of his dinosaur is mega. The actual animation of the characters is also of a superb quality especially Fred's run-up in the bowling section of the game.
This said, however I think that the programmers have attempted to fit too many features into one game. Each section looks great, and the painting section has a certain addictiveness, but overall the game doesn't encourage you to carry on for very long. The bowling section seemed to be a little random, and often the shot appeared to depend on luck rather than speed or spin. And the rescue section gave the impression of yet another JSW clone with big sprites, even to the 'blackout' following a fall.
Whilst this is an improvement on the first Flintstones game, it is let down by poor addictive qualities. Teque are, though, definitely a team to watch out for in the future.
Coming, erm, now actually, to a cinema near you...
THE COMPLETE YS GUIDE TO FILM AND TELLY GAMES
Knowing full well what a square-eyed bunch you are, we thought it was about time you were given the facts on film and television licenced games. Once again, JONATHAN DAVIES was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
(Cough. Deep, manly voice.)
'In the beginning there were loads and loads of Speccy games. Loads of them. They sold all right, but not exactly in enormous numbers. The trouble was, you see, that none of them seemed particularly exciting. They had nothing that caught the public eye. They were just computer games. Had no 'cred'.
Then a small cog within a long-since-extinct software house had an idea.
"Why don't we give our next game the same name as an incredibly popular film? Then everyone would buy it just because they'd seen the film and they'd foolishly think the game would be just as good. How about i, eh?"
"Er, we could do, I suppose."
"But what if the film company finds out? They might sue us or something."
"I know - we could ask them first."
"That's a point. Go on then."
"Yeah. Give them a ring and ask if they'd mind."
"Oo-er. Cripes. Okay then." (Dials very long trans-Atlantic phone number.)
"Hullo. We'd like to name our new game after your film and we were wondering if it was okay by you. Right... yes... oh, I see." (Cups hand over receiver.) "They want us to give them lots of money."
"Erm, well in that case we'd better." (Removes hand.) "Yes, that'll be fine. We'll send you some right away. Bye."
"How are we going to come up with a game that's anything like the film?"
"I don't know really."
"How about if we have a bloke walking around shooting people?"
"That sounds fine. I'll program it right away."
And so the film and telly licence was born. It... cough. Choke.
Oops. There goes the deep, manly voice.
Anyway, film and telly games, eh? Everyone's doing them these days, as they're one of the few remaining ways of making serious money with computer games. Run a grubby finger down the charts and you'll find nearly all the top-sellers are film and telly licences. (Or arcade conversions, of course.)
But why do we keep buying them? After all, just because a game's named after a really brill film doesn't mean it's going to be any good, does it? Surely we aren't buying them simply because of the flashy name on the box?
Erm, well in the old days, software houses assumed this to be the case, and chucked out a stream of absolutely appalling games with 'big name' titles. Things like Miami Vice, The Dukes Of Hazard and Highlander were all pretty dreadful, but it was hoped that they'd sell on the strength of their names. But we weren't fooled. Oh no. The games didn't sell well, and the companies were forced to think again.
Eventually they came up with... the 'bloke walking around shooting things' idea. And they've used it more or less ever since. Lucky then that they tend to be jolly good all the same, and sometimes come up with the odd original idea to spice things up (like The Untouchables did, or perhaps Back To The Future Part II).
As always seems to be the case, the trusty YS ratings system doesn't really seem adequate when it comes to film and telly games. So here's what we've put together instead...
What does it look like? Nice? Or not very nice at all? (You mean are the graphics any good? Ed) Er, yes. That's it in a nutshell. (Then why didn't you just say the first place? Ed) Erm...
How does the general atmosphere compare to the film or telly programme the game's meant to go with? Have programmers just taken a bog-standard game and stuck a flashy name on it? Or have they made an effort to incorporate a bit of the 'feel' of the original?
Does the plot follow along the same sort of lines as the film or telly programme? Is there plenty action-packedness? And is the game the same all way through, or does it follow the original's twists and turns?
Um, how does the game compare to all the licences around at the moment? Is it better? Or worse? In other words, is it a 'cut' above the rest? (is that really the best you can manage? Ed)
Thank goodness The Flintstones isn't on anymore, eh? Long, boring and raising only the most canned of laughter, it made 5.30 to 6pm a nightmare every time it was on. Almost makes you grateful that Neighbours came along and took over, doesn't it?
A computer version was inevitable, though. So inevitable, in fact, that there are two of them - Yabba Dabba Doo, which was a boring-wandering-around-collecting-things game, and this one which is more of a multi stage, lots of sub-games affair. First of all, Fred's got to paint a wall of his cave, using a squirrel's tail as a brush (ho ho) and trying to stop Pebbles (his irritating daughter who appeared just as the cartoon was really goodness going downhill) from scribbling all over it. It's about as fun as painting a wall for real. Then there's a bit where he has to fix his car (by the way, can anyone explain how the Flintstones' car is steered?) before driving down the most to the bowling alley for a game of whatever it is they do there. Finally you've got to rescue Pebbles from a building site. It looks nice, but gets very boring jolly quickly.
I never really thought of myself as a child molester. I thought I had a kind of laid-back, live-and-let-live approach to kiddies. And I guess I did, until the Flintstones came along with that godforsaken kid, Pebbles. The game supposedly places you in the role of a caring father, but I could quite happily stick the over-smily cheesy brat in the blender. Look, I'll try and explain.
You know what it's like in Bedrock. Well, you probably don't, so I'll tell you. It's a pretty sleepy little place. Not too many things to do. About the most exciting thing a guy can get into on his day off is a bowling sensation with his buddies.
So it's understandable you're liable to get a might distraught when the Mrs, Wilma, insists you get the whole interior of your cave painted before you go out. And on top of that, you've got to look after your kid, Pebbles, while Wilma flounces off to her mother's for the day.
So there you are, armed with a squirrel doused in paint and faced with a huge wall. Right. No time to waste. You've only got four pre-historic egg-timers to run out for Mrs Naggy gets back and grounds you for the evening. OK. Bosh, bosh, shum, shum, wallop, wallop. Loads of paint. Going lovely, isn't it? Filling up the paint brush is a piece of cake - just toddle over to the bucket, splosh the squirrel in it and shoot back to the wall. Quick check on Pebbles, who's writing on the walls with her crayons. Fine. Oh No! Rush over to Pebbles, grab her, the squirrel escapes, dump Pebbles back in her play pen, run around madly trying to catch the squirrel all the paint falls off the squirrel so you've got to get some more, back to the wall bosh bosh shum shum opp missed a bit more paint shum bosh wallop etc etc.
And just as you're about to fill up your paintbrush for the final splosh your last eggtimer runs out and Wilma comes back and you go completely mad and you smash everything in the house into a million tiny bits and set the squirrel on Wilma and stuff Pebbles through the window and trash the TV set and and and... You'll have to excuse me, it's just so frustrating.
Anyway, after about a thousand attempts (it really is unspeakably difficult) you will be allowed to get own to some serious bowling.
Now, Bedrock roads aren't the best in the world. And driving with stone wheels doesn't make life any easier. The next stage of the game involves getting from Barney's house to the bowling alley. This bit is a little like Moon Buggy, the old arcade game, with the buggy bouncing along, and you having to jump over craters and boulders. Should you hit any particularly unsuitable terrain, a wheel files off Fred's motor and you'll have to go about finding and fitting a replacement.
The graphics throughout are both cute to look at and functional. But there are one or two problems. In the painting scene, you can be absolutely sure that you've covered the whole wall, and yet the game still seems unwilling to register the fact.
The bowling section is a very well presented part, but it's let down a tiny bit by thoughtless mechanics. After Fred has bowled, using the up and down controls to position him in the alley, and a sliding speedometer to determine how hard he bowls, it's Barney's turn. Barney waddles up and bowls his pseudo-random bowl in a fab graphical manner. The only problem is that this takes a number of seconds and one you've seen it once, the novelty wears a little thin. After the third go, you couldn't really give a flying bonk what it looks like - you just want to know what score you've got to beat!
After bowling you drive back home with Barney, orify to discover that Pebbles has done a bunk and is nowhere in sight. And then it's Platform-time.
Pebbles is atop a huge stone platform on a building site, and you've got to get her down before she plunges to her death in a cement mixer (OK, so this part is maybe wishful thinking, there's no cement mixer).
Flintstones is a highly playable and competent conversion of the much underrated cartoon. It has niggling points, as mentioned earlier, but on the whole, when you weigh it all up and compare it to the price of paint and real squirrels, it's pretty darned good.
Label: Grand Slam
Author: Hollingworth and Harrap
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £8.95
Amstrad CPC Cassette: £8.95, Diskette: £12.95
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.95, Diskette: £14.95
From the Amiga and ST versions (TGM006 76% and 75% respectively) Fred Flintstone, man of prehistoric suburbia, has the tasks of family life on his hands in these 8-bit conversions by Teque Software Developments. The game plan is identical to previous versions with four games rolled into one package.
Fred's first job is to redecorate the cave, while trying to stem young Pebbles's artistic talent for graffiti, and not lose the energetic paintbrush (a squirrel). Having painted the cave, Fred takes the car to the Bedrock Bowling alley - however, the road is a hazardous one so expect a few wheel changes en route. Fred enters a ten-pin bowling challenge with his old buddy Barney Rubble: achieving double Barney's score makes Fred the winner. Fred troops wearily home to discover Pebbles has done a runner, and he has to search for her amid the platforms and ladders of a building site.
All three 8-bit conversions mirror their predecessors well - with graphics that retain the impressive cartoon-like qualities. However, playability remains hard - especially the painting scene. The Commodore version moves at a fair rate, while the Spectrum and Amstrad CPC versions are slow enough to cause frustration.
A reasonable rendition of the Flintstones theme tune - written by Ben Daglish - burbles during gameplay on all three versions except Spectrum 48K.
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