Producer: Software Projects
Retail Price: £7.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Michael Davies
BC's Quest for Tyres is set way back during the stoneage and puts you in a sexist 'rescue the girl from the baddy' situation. You play Thor, a caveman type whose girl 'Cute Chick' is being held captive by the Hungry Dinosaur. You've got to get on your stone monocycle (must be flipping painful) and trundle your way across the hazardous Neanderthal landscape to get her back.
The game is similar to Hunchback, but constantly scrolls rather than flicks from screen to screen. When you start, the game is pretty simple there are a few potholes and boulders on the road which have to be jumped. Soon you get to the forest and low hanging branches have to be ducked under and sticks on the ground have to be jumped over. Needless to say if you happen to hit any obstacle you come tumbling off the granite unicycle, hit the dust and see a few stars. Crashes also cost a life, and you start off with four.
After the first forest you have to cross a river by jumping across the backs of four swimming turtles, using them as stepping stones. Being of a lazy disposition, the turtles are constantly submerging. Getting your timing right is critical, otherwise you could find yourself pretty much in deep water and end up with one life less. Just in case you find bouncing across the turtles too easy, Fat Broad sits on the other side of the river and waves her club about. If her club is down when you reach the bank then you'll fall back into the water. "Jump sucker" she keeps urging you in a speech bubble.
After that little escapade comes a steep uphill climb. Rocks bouncing down the slope and potholes make the going pretty tough, and it gets tougher on the way down, with low flying boulders from a volcano adding injuries to insult. As you trundle along a bird flies down this is yer actual friendly Dooky Bird, who's prepared to carry you across the gaping lava pit if you can jump into its talons at the right moment.
Another hill, this time with a crevasse at the bottom, and another river crossing to make with the Hungry Dinosaur standing guard instead of Fat Broad, then it's into the dinosaur's cave. Jump and duck under the stalactites to complete this last run, then you get to your babes, Cute Chick, and live happily ever after... For at least ten seconds, anyway, whereupon the silly girl is stupid enough to let herself be captured by the Hungry Dinosaur, and the whole problem starts over again.
Points are awarded for jumping over or ducking each obstacle, and double, treble and quadruple points can be earned by pelting along at high speeds. Thor's unicycle must be motorised it can do up to 80 mph, with the speed shown on a digital speedometer at the bottom of the screen. You can accelerate if you want to 90 for points, or slow down a bit on the trickier sections if you wish. Fortunately, in Neanderthal days, fuel wasn't a problem...
Control keys: W forwards, Q pull back, K jump, M duck, ENTER and W speed up, ENTER and Q slow down
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Protek
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: lots of attribute problems, not attractive
Graphics: clever scrolling driving big, but flat graphics
Sound: not a lot, continuous rasping
Skill levels: gets harder as you progress
Software Projects have done a good job of converting this one from the Commodore and BC is still a pretty loveable character. I loved the way he bounces and bumps over all the obstacles in his path. The stages that you encounter are not too long and I felt that I'd have a better chance of completing them next go... which helped get me addicted. Technically the graphics are quite clever, if a little uninspiring. Quite a challenging game to start, but could get repetitive quickly.
I first saw this game months ago on the Commodore and then it struck me as being pretty abysmal. The Spectrum version is a reasonably good conversion - just as bad as the 64 version. The graphics are pretty bad, but the scrolling, it must be said, is very good. The one good point about the game is that it is very easy to play, although this does knock down the addictive qualities. Overall it's very poor and I hope Software Projects have more luck with Willy Meets the Taxman.
What a strange game. At first this game seems very poor, and it's almost as if it hasn't been finished: there's no sound, for instance bar a ticking noise. It's hard to describe what's missing... After a few goes, however, the game began to grow on me and I was really getting into it after an hour - until I discovered that it's not as hard as it should be. Graphically this game isn't outstanding, although I did like the way the mountains move more slowly than the ground and sky. A lot of attribute problems mar what neatness the graphics have.
ROLLING STONE AGE
If you're on the look out for a simple, unsophisticated slice of arcade action, BC's Quest For Tires may be the game for you. Steve Malone gathers very little moss in his review of Software Project's new Neandertale!
Game: BC's Quest for Tires
Publisher: Software Projects
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, Interface II
Keys: Forward/Back - W/Q; Jump/Duck - K/M; Speed Up/Slow Down - W+Enter/Q+Enter.
Next time you get a puncture, don't blow your top. Just think what it must've been like One Million Years BD - Before Dunlop. You'll get some idea from playing BC's Quest For Tires, the prehistoric program from Software Projects. So, prepare for a distinctly bumpy ride.
The first thing that'll strike you about the game is that the graphics have a distinctly cartoonish feel about them. Hardly surprising really as our stone-age hero is the hero of Johnny Hart's BC newspaper comic strip. Here our hero sets out on his rolling stone to rescue his loved one, jumping and ducking according to the hazards that are thrown at him.
All in all this is a good, competently programmed arcade game. And it'll have you throwing the joystick around the room with frustration as Thor the hero falls flat on his face for the umpteenth time.
Where the game falls down is in the fact that there's just not enough of it. Two days of frantic joystick-juggling or keyboard bashing (and it's addictive enough to keep you at it that long!) will allow most of you to get to the end. And once you've cracked it, it's back to the beginning again – only this time it's just that bit faster. The only trouble is that once you've been at the finish, it doesn't have quite the same air of mystery about it - and then it's on to racking up the points.
Having said all that, this is pure and unadulterated (no added colour, no preservatives) arcade action - and it's still got plenty of natural fizz!
Publisher: Software Projects
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Protek
Poor Cute Chick is under threat of extinction from a giant dinosaur and you must save her.
Taking your favourite stone wheel you bounce across the prehistoric landscape jumping rocks and holes and ducking under trees. The next task is to cross the river via turtleback.
You will need the Dooky Bird for your next test - the lava pit. Cling on to its tail and you'll sail across.
The trail continues with more stones and holes. If you crash into obstacles the stone wheel will flip from under you and bash your brains out in true comic book style. When you eventually arrive at the cave where Cute is held prisoner your joystick hand will be at dropping point.
Although the title has little relevance to the game - other than the fact that it is the name of one of the US BC cartoons - and the graphics are nothing to write home about, BC has me hooked. I find his on-screen antics very addictive.
MACHINE: Spectrum/CBM 64
SUPPLIER: Software Projects
PRICE: £7.95 (Spec), £9.95 (CBM 64)
Software Projects attempt to breath new life into this now ageing game based on Johnny Hart's cartoon series.
It's basically a "reaction testing" game with some nice cartoon graphics.
You have to help Thor rescue his girlfriend Cute Chick from the jaws of a hungry dinosaur.
You have to be pretty quick on the joystick or keyboard to steer Thor successfully through all the obstacles he encounters - and the game does get irritating addictive.
Direct from comic strip to screen comes Thor of BC. Frantically pedalling his unicycle he faces a formidable task, first he must jump rocks and holes, then duck and jump until he reaches the river.
To cross the river he has to leap on the backs of turtles and then hitch a lift on the Dooky Bird. Once he has achieved this he is beset by falling volcanic debris as well as obstacles on the ground until he reaches the cave where Fat Broad and stalactites wait to hinder his final objective of rescuing Cute Chick.
Actions are fairly simple: speed up, slow down, move forward or back, jump and duck. Keyboard use is well thought out, WQMK plus ENTER and the usual joystick options are included. Using a joystick does make life easier with this game.
Graphically this is well designed, the characters are carefully drawn, excellently animated and the backgrounds are attractive. Inevitably there is a little colour clashing due to the limitations of the attribute file and the range of colours used, though personally I did not find this off putting.
For what amounts to a fairly unsophisticated game I found that I had spent an unusually long time 'testing' it and I have gone back to it a few times since. Every time I misjudge an action I kick myself and try again because I KNOW I can do better - is this the definition of addiction?
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