Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
With cartoon graphics and jolly rendition of the programme’s theme tune, The Flintstones has the makings of a good game. Unfortunately, it also has limited levels and far from addictive gameplay, so this cart sure doesn’t possess the ‘Wow Factor’.
There’s a nice opening sequence, Fred sliding down the tail of a dinosaur, shouting ‘Yabba dabba doo!’ It’s a sampled cry, although not a particularly good one and cut off in its prime.
Level One can be raced through fairly quickly. ‘Sexy’ Wilma’s given Fred strict instructions to paint the living room while she’s away. He grabs hold of the paintbrush — a weird-looking green reptile — visits the paint pot from time to time and slams the emulsion on the wall. There’s a ladder to help him reach those awkward high spots.
But his beloved daughter Pebbles has a fetish for scrawling graffiti here, there and everywhere and should be lovingly placed back in her playpen every time she escapes. Her handy work must be painted up pronto — after Fred’s recaptured the paintbrush, that is!
This level’s both boring and simplistic. Once you’ve worked out Pebble’s movements and the art of grabbing the brush and using the ladder, you’ve got it made! There’s a time limit, indicated by four egg timers, but it ain’t particularly tight.
Level Two: It’s just so easy! Bosom buddies Fred and Barney are seen trundling to the Bedrock Bowling Alley in Fred’s car, but the road’s littered with boulders. If the car hits one, a wheel falls off and Fred must find a replacement, do a refit and go on his way before the bowling alley closes.
Here the action’s flip-screen. It’s possible to wend your way down the road, avoid all the boulders and arrive at the alley with plenty of time in hand. This level presents no challenge whatsoever and is far too short...
Whereas the next round can be tediously long-winded, if you’re not an expert bowler. The computer controls Barney and it’s no surprise to find he’s incredibly good at knocking down those skittles!
The idea’s to beat the pants off Mr Rubble before advancing to the next level. Fred has four rounds in which to do this, each consisting of about ten matches.
Before the run up, decide the angle of spin and speed at which the ball travels, then watch those skittles fly (or remain standing, whatever the case may be)!
Bowling takes a lot of practice; if you’re not spot on with your rolls, Barney will beat you in a trice. By the time I’d reached the fourth round, rigor mortis had set in good and proper! But then my bowling skills leave a lot to be desired...
The final level sees Freddy in hot pursuit of his daughter. She’s escaped from her playpen and is perched high on a girder above the new building site! Flip-screen action once again as Fred bounces along girders and scales ladders to save his offspring.
Flying nuts and bolts hinder Fred’s progress and gusts of wind attempt to blow him off the ropes. Can he reach his darling before the sands of time run dry? The graphics and animation are superb here.
But then the same’s true throughout The Flintstones: it looks great. The sprites are excellent and ooze character — they actually look like the Flintstones characters! But pretty graphics can’t hide the poor, simplistic gameplay.
I feel Fred and his friends would be better suited to the younger end of the market. Ardent gamesplayers would finish this in a few days, no sweat. Action-packed it ain’t.
WIL-MAAAA!! Will poor Fred ever get any peace? Fans of the TV programme (that includes me) will know all about the antics of Fred and his best friend, Barney. If you play the game you’ll NEVER know! Gameplay’s distinctly childish and very easy — with only four levels you won’t be playing for long. I got to the final level after about four hours of play and it won’t be long before I’ve finished that! Although each level’s completely different, the overall game isn’t that enjoyable, but if you’re stuck for a present for your five-year-old brother or sister, it’s worth a buy.
Not a bad game. For younger players only