Piranha
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£9.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

122,123
Nick Roberts, Bym Welthy, Paul Sumner
Chris Bourne

'Are you smarter than the average bear?' asks the publicity. Well, there are bears and there are bears. This time we're dealing with the necktie-and-hat-wearing variety who live in Jellystone Park and are known as Yogi to their friends.

But Jellystone Park is not the safest place to live: furry little Boo Boo bear has been kidnapped, and Yogi has to rescue him before the bearlet starts wanting to hibernate.

And what with hunters, moose (shurely Hunter's Moon? - Man Ed), vultures, hopping mad frogs, geysers and that mean old Ranger Smith, it's going to be an anxious time.

Yogi can jump over obstacles, or duck or dive his way around them, but touching an obstacle can delay even an above-average bear or send him back to square one. Yogi can travel more safely by going through caves - if he finds a cave entrance in the first place.

There are picnic hampers left conveniently lying around, and if Yogi starts shrinking on the screen you know he's getting very hungry. (He's certainly no subtler than the average bear).

Toffee apples also he on the ground, and when you pick one up, an icon box becomes coloured. Each of these icon boxes represents a stepping stone to Boo Boo's prison, and when Yogi has found all of the toffee apples and reach the real stepping stones (don't stop reading, this is the dramatic bit) he has to take the right route over the stones, or risk being captured himself. And no-one wants to read in their morning paper about another botched hostage rescue attempt.

Piranha had some problems making a game of the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon. For a start, the licence-holders insisted that the computer characters look exactly like the cartoon stars - not as easy as it sound, when every detail must be double-checked!

Yogi's proprietors were also anxious that his image as a fun-loving huggable bear shouldn't be damaged by the violence and truly nasty nasties of everyday Spectrum fare. (That's why it's technically your lives and not Yogi's that are lost).

So bear in mind that the game is aimed at a young, impressionable audience (as is Basil The Great Mouse Detective).

Looking ahead, there's a yogi Bear competition in the CRASH Christmas Special - a chance to win lots of sweet food from Harrods (toffee apples not included, for technical reasons) plus copies of the game.

CRITICISM

'Yogi Bear isn't so bad if you can get into it, but getting started is the problem. In some of the later screens there's very well-drawn scenery, and the baddies get tougher and tougher, but Yogi Bear will have no lasting appeal; a tune at the beginning and more sound effects would help greatly.' NICK ... 62%

'Yogi Bear has one of the most aggravating features any game could wish for: at the start of each of your six lives you're returned to the first screen, making progress a very time-consuming business! As for the rest, confusing graphics and the breathtaking speed at which Yogi runs make it all very difficult to manage…' BYM ... 67%

'Yogi is a lovable old bear, but sadly the computer version of the eponymous cartoon animal is a lot less manageable than the 'average bear'. The main flaw is bad collision-detection; all the inhabitants of Jellystone Park are accurately and cartoonishly drawn, but this kind of 3-D is hard to manage.' PAUL ... 58%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: sparse landscape with adequate character reproduction
Sound: simple spot effects
General Rating: A very hard game aimed at a very young market.

55%
63%
51%
51%
62%

Screenshot Text

Bear-faced greed.