I'm smarter than the average bear! Well you'd have to be to survive in this new cartoon adventure from Hi-Tec. You take the role of good of Yogi Bear who's trying to escape from Jellystone Park. The park is to be closed down and all the animals moved to the zoo, so Yogi decides to run away - no more picnic basket nabbing for Yogi!
Different platforms, moving floors and other obstacles must be negotiated by our lovable bear. You have to keep Yogi on his toes too. If you slow down, the Ranger will catch up with him, and off he goes to the zoo.
There are six levels in all, starting with Jellystone Park going through to the Fun Fair and New York City, each with its own detailed backdrops and sprites - new nasties are out to get you on each one too. The trouble with the game being in monochrome is that some times you can't see where things like snakes are hiding.
As well as escaping from the park you have to collect six parts of Yogi's car, six bags of money and six cowboy hats to get an extra super-dooper bonus.
Yogi's Great Escape is a fun, addictive game. Take control of one of your favourite cartoon characters and have a great time. I can't wait to see the other games in the Hi-Tec/Hanna Barbera series, like Hong Kong Phooey!
Ah ha! You have to get up pretty damn early in the morning to catch me out. Actually it's not really worth going to bed in the first place. So don't try to tell me that this game isn't a re-release of that ancient Pirhana Yogi Bear game from all those eons ago. What? It isn't? It's a completely new game? (Ahem.)
Yep, bargain hunters, Yogi's back (back! back!) in a completely new caboodle, this time trying to escape from Jellystone Park to New York City through six equally boring levels before he's hauled off to the zoo - which is where all the other animals are going when the park is forced to close down. Just like the previous Yogi game, everything scrolls from left to right, whilst Yogi hops from platform to platform in search of picnic baskets and various other goodies, avoiding lots of baddies on the way. All of which is very simple, pretty uninspiring and extremely repetitive. It looks very dates and boring, even for £2.99. In fact I doubt you'll be able to 'bear' it for very long at all (ho ho).
CHEAPY OF THE MONTH!
Yoiks! What's a new budget label like Hi-Tec doing with a lawyer-shredding licence like Yogi Bear? Surely these stateside sharks would so restrict the programmer's freedom, that any resulting game would be an utterly unplayable graphics showcase?
Indeed, cartoon licences of recent years seem to have suffered just such unsatisfactory fates at the hands of over-precious licencers'. Their characters mustn't be killed, mustn't participate in any violent activity, wear checkered trousers and so on.
Fortunately, Yogi Bear, coming from far more healthy slap-stick roots, suffers no such problems. He stands a perfectly good chance of being bitten by snakes, shot in the head by hunters, pranged by indians' arrows or falling to his death.
Yogi has heard through the grapevine that Mr Ranger Sir is under orders to round up all the animals and put them in a Zoo. Since there are not many picernic baskets in the Zoo, Yogi begins to plan his... escape! His journey leads from Jellystone Park, through the forest, the wild west, marshland, a funfair and finally New Yoik City itself.
A game with only three controls (left, right and fire) inevitably relies heavily on sheer playability to maintain one's interest. Thankfully, Yogi's Great Escape is absolutely choc-full of it.
After the first couple of plays, I came away with a strong feeling that the game was simply too hard. There are massive jumps to make, some needing extremely precise step-off moments, and you never get a moment's breathing space, for if you're not rushing to beat the clock (take too long and Ranger Smith will catch up with you) you're standing on an moving walkway heading towards a grizzly end (arf).
Once you gain a little confidence, though, you can really make some progress. The collision detection is superb. You really can tell when you're on the edge of a ledge. The most useful feature is Yogi's ability to change direction in mid air, so you can abort over-optimistic leaps half-way and return (in most cases) to your launch point. This ability to change your mind can lead to some genuinely cartoon-like situations with Yogi twisting back and forth in the air above the deadly hunter.
The largely cool playability is hampered somewhat by the fact that once you lose all three lives, no matter what level you have reached; bong. Right back to the beginning.
Along the way, if he's feeling peckish or overly brave, Yogi can collect bonus picernic baskets or even bits of his car (?) for extra points. These really aren't worth bothering about until you've been all the way through the game already and you simply want to prove what a smart arse you are.
Needless to day, the latter stages of Yogi's bid for freedom contain some damned tricky spots, and you'll need to perfect some high-grade jump'n'wiggle activities if you're going to make it through. These are the instances which make the back-to-the-start problem all the more frustrating. If it were possible to just have that one more go at a particular problem, instead of having to play through all your previously conquered levels, your progress would be much accelerated.
Yogi is a little lacking on the sound front, comprising only some wonky bleeps and boops.
The animation it superb. Yogi walks through the smooth-scrolling landscape like a proper cartoon-conversion bear should. The backdrops are uncluttered but interesting, and despite the hunters looking more like Afghan rebels than dopey mid-westerners, all objects are identifiable and cartoony.
No matter what your particular bent, Yogi is bound to satisfy. Proof, then, that Yogi is smarter than your average bear.
Label: Hi Tec
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
The famed cartoon bear is in a whole mess of trouble! Ranger Smith has just been told he has to close down Jellystone Park and send all the animals to new homes in the local zoo. Free spirit that he is, Yogi plans to escape with his pal Boo-Boo and start a new life in New York where he's heard handsome young grizzlies can earn a lot of money. To escape from each of the six sections, Yogi has to jump across a landscape of cunningly-positioned platforms, dodging hunters and collecting food and the odd picker-nick basket for bonus points. It sounds like a million other games, I know, but Yogi's Great Escape is gifted with excellent graphics and very addictive - even mentally stimulating - gameplay which keeps you hooked for quite some time.
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