|Big Five (U.S.GOLD)
64k cassette (NOT 400/800) £9.95
48k disk £14.95
This game is, in effect, the follow
up to the enormously popular MINER 2049er. It has taken some considerable
time for MINER's successor to appear - the original Big 5 game is
well over two years old - but, in between we had the elusive Scraper
Caper which failed to see the light of day. Still not to worry,
Bounty Bob is back, bigger and better than ever before in this latest
game from U.S.GOLD and the good news is that it retails on cassette
and disk at sensible prices. You won't have to fork out £50 for
the ROM version.
Most of you will be already be
familiar with the scenario of the original MINER game. BOUNTY BOB
follows a similar plot as our intrepid hero embarks on a journey
covering 25 exciting new levels in his bid to secure the mine and
defeat the plans of the evil Yukon Yohan (whoever he may be!).
Gameplay is virtually identical
to the original. You must guide Bob around the platform levels,
filling in all the sections of the framework in order to 'claim'
them. Deadly mutants patrol the framework and you can either avoid
them by jumping over them or destroy them by collecting one of the
many 'treats' scattered throughout the mine and then touching the
Bob still retains his incredible
jumping powers from the previous game but, unlike MINER, you can
vary the delay between pressing the fire button and directing the
joystick and thus control his jumping distance. This greatly enhances
the playability of the game. All the old familiar objects and modes
of transport are there to both help and hinder Bob - transporters,
pulverisers, lifts and of course, the cannon and there are a whole
batch of new ones waiting to be discovered and explored such as
the gravity lift, grain elevator, suction tubes, mobile suction
unit, acid rain, utility hoist and a host of other wierd and wonderful
First impressions are generally
important and the title screen is a mere taster of what is to follow.
A flock of birds fly on carrying the letters of the alphabet and
they quickly re-arrange them onto a huge 'billboard' affair to spell
out the opening credits. The accompanying tune is excellent and
sounds suspiciously like a re-working of the Superman and Star Wars
The high score table is another
eye-opener. You must spell your name by pushing letters onto a conveyor-belt
with the aid of a pair of bulldozers, whereupon the birds swoop
down and transfer your name and score to the High Score billboard.
The fun starts when your name is added to an otherwise full High
Score table as the birds have to fit you into the correct slot whilst
rearranging all the other names and scores in their proper order.
Clever birds these ones!
My main gripe concerning the original
MINER game was that it was just too difficult, especially for someone
of my limited skills. No such problems with BOUNTY BOB though, an
'Options' Screen allows you to alter numerous game parameters to
make the game as easy or as hard as you like. You can choose to
start the game with up to 4 lives, set the bonus life to be awarded
anywhere from 10,000 to 90,000 points, re-start the game at the
point you left off after losing a life, enable 'secret messages'
which allow you to 'warp' to higher levels and so on.
It would be no great shakes to
write a book about this game but, naturally, magazine space won't
allow it. The graphics and animation are superb and the quality
and variety of the 25 levels are unsurpassed in any other platform
game Iíve seen. Colour has been used to great effect with the mine
levels constantly changing colour each time you play. Sound effects
are also first rate.
Normally, at this point, reviewers
quote the tired old cliché that 'follow up games are never
as good as the original' but in this case it couldn't be farther
from the truth. BOUNTY BOB STRIKES BACK is as important to your
collection as STAR RAIDERS and POLE POSITION were. Mark my word,
it is destined to become the number one game of 1985. Miss it at
you own peril!
One final note. The cassette version
of BOUNTY BOB is only compatible with the XL and XE models as it
requires 64k RAM. Owners of 400/ 800 models will have to settle
for the 48k disk version.