Game Over Online ~ Flintstones Bedrock Bowling

GameOver Game Reviews - Flintstones Bedrock Bowling (c) Southpeak Interactive, Reviewed by - Clarence Worley

Game & Publisher Flintstones Bedrock Bowling (c) Southpeak Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 25%
Date Published Tuesday, August 8th, 2000 at 10:27 PM

Divider Left By: Clarence Worley Divider Right

Sometimes, you just have to tell it like it is and to be perfectly honest with you, I'm baffled as to how a game like Flintstones Bedrock Bowling even gets past the idea board, let alone Q&A. The game is a hybrid of the sports of bowling and racing, transplanted into the world of the Flintstones. While it might have seemed like a refreshing mix when the idea was first conceived, the end product is a Yabba-Dabba-Disaster.

In Flintstones Bedrock Bowling, the Great Gazoo has transformed the town of Bedrock into an enormous bowling alley. Playing as one of five characters from the TV series - including Fred, Barney, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, and Dino - you'll be hopping into a hollowed-out bowling ball as you roll, err… levitate, down each of the lanes. That's right, contrary to all logic, did you know that a hollowed-out bowling ball ceases to roll at all? Yeah, it suddenly has the unique ability to float above the ground. Oh, am I thinking too much now? Yeah, check the brain at the door, gotcha.

A single game consists of 10 bowling frames. Each frame is represented with a different lane, each featuring a Flintstone'esque environment such as the Query, Tar Pits and the Expressway to name a few. There are several objectives to each frame. First and foremost, you'll want to knock down all ten pins to gain as many points as possible. The second objective is to gather as many gems as you can. Each of the lanes is broken into sections. You'll have to collect the Dodo birds along your way in order to unlock each of the sections. If you miss one of the Dodo birds, you'll be forced to stop at the next check point, limiting how many points you'll score by limiting how many pins you'll be able to knock down, or gems you can collect. Have I lost you yet? Well, it's still early.

Besides the 10 regular lanes, Flintstones Bedrock Bowling also features bonus and hidden levels. These are unlocked by completing certain tasks along the way. For example, if you hit all of the Dodo birds on the first four lanes, you'll unlock the swimming pool bonus level. The other levels are unlocked in a similar manner, but I'll leave the rest of the secrets for you to find out.

The lane design is erratic to say the least. While some of the designs are challenging and feature an assortment of obstacles, others are simply not challenging at all. The mine lane in particular is more than a little confusing. Besides possibly falling off the edge of the track, it's virtually impossible NOT to be able to collect all of the necessary items, while knocking down all ten of the pins, because the track is that narrow. Some of the obstacles you'll encounter along the way include barrels full of dynamite, barrel-throwing monkeys, unwanted dinosaurs and other animals. Many of the levels feature ramps and moving floors that provide a bit of a hindrance as well.

The biggest problem with Flintstones Bedrock Bowling is that it fails to entertain. On top of that, there's absolutely no replay value in this title. Once you've played through one bowling game, the only reason to play a second time is to see if you can better your score. Whether you've bettered your score or not, there's absolutely nothing here pulling you back for more. With only ten lanes, many of which are easily mastered, there's not enough gameplay to warrant loading it up a day or two later. Even in terms of younger gamers, which Flintstones Bedrock Bowling is clearly designed for, there's just not enough action to keep their attention beyond a game or two.

When you look at the graphics, it's pretty apparent that Flintstones Bedrock Bowling was created for the Playstation first and foremost. The graphics aren't all that spectacular and certainly don't feature any razzle or dazzle that a 3D card can provide. The environments are recognizable in terms of the Flintstones theme, but there's little interactivity in the backdrop, let alone the main game itself. The audio is also extremely disappointing. The sound effects are reminiscent of the TV series but there's very little speech in the game. I would have expected more vocals from the characters themselves, but instead the Great Gazoo seems to steal all the lines when introducing each of the lanes or acknowledging a strike.

Control in Flintstones Bedrock Bowling is extremely simple considering all you need are directional keys. Moving right, left, up or down is all there is to this game, and can be achieved using any of the mouse, keyboard or joystick. There are three levels of difficulty in the game, allowing gamers of all ages and skill to partake in the so-called thrills of Bedrock Bowling. Last but not least, this title does support multiplayer with up to four players via the hot seat mode, a feature that is as unspectacular as the single player experience.

Flintstones Bedrock Bowling is a shallow gaming experience, period. While it might stand a chance in the console market, it has no redeeming features to warrant a PC version. While currently available in Europe, Flintstones Bedrock Bowling, much like another SouthPeak Interactive title, The Dukes of Hazzard, will not be available in the US until the fall. I strongly suggest you Yabba-Dabba-Dooooo NOT buy this game unless you live and breath the Flintstones.


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