HANDS UP WHO WATCHES KIDS' TV? IF YOU DO YOU'LL KNOW DOC CROC AND HIS PALS, THOSE CRAZY CHARACTERS OF THE SEWERS. WE SENT NICK ROBERTS DOWN A MANHOLE FOR THE DAY TO DISCOVER IF HE REALLY IS ROUND THE BEND. (WE CERTAINLY DIDN'T NEED TO SEND HIM AWAY FOR THAT! - ED.)
'Doc, Doc, what are you doin' back here?' 'Marty, you've got to come back to the future with me! It's your kids, Marty…!' Whoops, sorry, that's the wrong Doc isn't it? (Oh God! He's gone off his head already! - Ed).
Let me see… Oh yes. Doc Croc's the healer in this story, acrazy crocodile who runs a comic company and accidentally blows up the new video printing press invented by artist Lou Brush. Retrieve the press fragments and comic pages with the help of Jemima Wellington-Green and Vaudeville Vince Vermin (isn't this bizarre?).
They begin in Doc Croc's office, all the team assembled and raring to go. They venture into the sewers to rescue the pieces of comic, avoiding deadly bats, cans and ninja teddies - y'know, the usual things you find down sewers! Collision with any nasties sends the weirdo heroes straight back to the office in disgrace.
If they find a comic page, enter it and search for the punchline (we could do with a few of those in the CRASH office - Ed). Each character has unique comic pages - some of them well weird - which can trigger of their specialist skills. The include 'Jon Potato's Newsround', 'Kenny McTickle and his Magic Kily' and 'The False Teeth Versus Atomic Banana'. Wacky of what! Fans of the TV series will recognise the characters festering in these pages.
The team's worst enemy is time. If they can't find the comic pages before the deadlone it's Game Over. Flippin' deadlines, they're a right killer aren't they? (When have you ever stuck to 'em, Nicko - Ed.)
MORE NUTS THAN A TOPIC!
Round the Bend shouldn't be a full price game. It looks and plays like a budget release, making you wonder whether there was a mix up at Zeppelin. The TV characters are well drawn and animated but the colour's a bit drab, most of the game in monochrome. Jumping through the sewers dodging the enemies soon gets boring, too.
But you won't complete Round The Bend in a hurry. There are lots of pieces of the press to collect and the comic pages break up the monotony of the sewer sections. The strict time limit ensures you can't sit back to admire the scenery, though.
Not bad, bit I expect much more in a full price game.
NICK … 68%
'I've watched the TV programme a couple of times, although I'd no idea what was going on. Round The Bend is very aptly named, it's totally potty race through sewers filled with creatures from the worst anchovy pizza-induced nightmare imaginable. The graphics are monochrome but Doc Croc and Co are readily identifiable. The main reason the game drove me 'round the bend' is the dratted meanies who take pixel-perfect timing and great patience to pass. I never managed to get more than seven or eight screens into the game because the darn opponents take their job so seriously. This is a great shame because on first play Round The Bend shows potential, but nothing turns me off a game faster than tough gameplay (girl's blouse - Ed).'
MARK … 72%
Nice graphics, shame about the gameplay.
It's bouncing Benny Hill in one of the hilarious sketches from his hit TV show. Where's the scantily clad women Benny?
Who's that geezer with the massive conk? I bet he can smell a mouldy cheese at three miles!
These flipping designers are driving me Round the Bend!