CRL Group PLC
1986
Adventure: Text
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

76,77
Richard Price
Chris Bourne

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard the Executive Suite of this giant TWA eagle.

"We'll be flying through nauseating turbulence and at varying heights above the devastated landscape of Muddle Earth. If you feel well enough you can look down and see the hovels of Bogginton, the prefabricated Halls of Rivendull and the foothills of the Wiffy Mountains.

"We hope you enjoy the flight - you'll find the sick bags underneath the Eagle's tail feathers..."

Bimbo of course is the star - if that's the right word - of Delta 4's The Boggit, the latest bad-taste epic from the team who brought you fear and loathing in Bored of the Rings.

Undaunted by public health warnings and threats of legal action, Fergus McNeil and his crew have produced a new three-parter that's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a certain other game about dragons and small creatures with hairy feet.

How like that Other Game it is will become quickly obvious when you load up and see the first screen. There's the familiar boggit-hovel with its little green door, though the little green toilet may come as a bit of a shock to the faint-hearted.

How unlike that other game it is you'll discover as soon as that old charlatan Grandalf appears, as fond of a bit of firework fun as ever. In he leaps, breaking the window, to drop off a box of exploding chocolates for the unwary Bimbo - all to the tune of the Milk Tray advert.

Terror-stricken, you may well try to get out of the boggit-hole as fast as you can. Sorry... the door's got a combination lock on it. Until you explore the hole thoroughly, you'll never find a way out and risk dying either from hunger of from the exploding sweeties.

Once escaped... well, I'll pass over the meeting with Thorny the Dwarf and his ultra-violent comrades and the infamous The Price is Right sequence. Suffice to say that good old Grandalf is the possessor of Drain the Dwarfs map of Daug's den, filched from the demented dwarf whilst he was an in-patient at the necromancer's lunatic asylum. After an acrimonious dispute between Grandalf and Thorny they make it clear to Bimbo that he's the one who's going to risk repeated meetings with the Grim Reaper in his quest for Daug's treasure.

In your trip through Wilberland and Berkwood you'll run into many familiar scenes, like the trolls' clearing, Smelrond's prefabs at Rivendull. even the Goblin's Dungeon and the fearsome spiders of Berkwood. Bored may have been a gas but The Boggit is much slicker. Much more to do, much more to read.

Like Delta 4's earlier effort it's a trilogy written on The Quill, this time with Patched graphics and a format which will let you return back to Boggiton in Part One after you've defeated Daug in Part Three. After all, you've got to get that stolen loot into the chest to win.

You simply load in your saved positions and retrace your steps back through the first two parts.

As usual with Delta 4, it's the zany humour and irreverence that turns this game from just another spoof into an inevitably classic piece of tomfoolery.

Apart from the daft descriptions, absurdly parodising the 'heroic' computer adventure, there are the equally silly responses : "Exam sword: the sword was plain save for 'He-Man' written on the blade".

Or this when two old friends meet. 'Hi Smelly' smiled Grandalf. 'Up yours, dragonbreath' retorted Smelrond lovingly!"

Or the score, given in a currency which Elite players might prefer to exchange for something a little more useful: "For your attempts you are worth 76 Lenslok devices." Aren't you shuddering?

The descriptions themselves, often quite lengthy, veer from the odd to the odder and are often accompanied by further reams of repartee. Try this - "He woke to the sound of Grandalf announcing something:'... lucky contestant Bimbo Faggins, COME ON DOWN!' Aided and abetted by the dwarfs, Bimbo came on down. 'Bimbo Faggins, we have here a 14th share of Thorny's dwarvish treasure. How much do you think it's worth?' "Such horror and you're still only in the second location!

Then there are the objects, many of them as bizarrely out of place as the messages - the credit card to buy your duty free on the small boat, the nylon clothes-line that doubles as a rope, or the poisoned marmalade sandwich, the purpose of which may be revealed if you look carefully around Smelrond's unwholesome base. As usual you can carry vast quantities of rubbish around with you and it's a great joy to rummage through the ever-accumulating pile for something that might just be useful to get out of the particular hole you're currently stuck in.

There are diversions - in Part Two you can, by entering the right requests, transport yourself to other realms, far distant in time and space. You'll probably have little trouble in finding the password if you're familiar with Delta's other masterpieces.

The problems and puzzles, although, they sometimes seem incidental to the wealth of foolery in the storyline, are still cunning. You have to pay very close attention to the text messages to work them out and, even then, many are still not at all obvious. Official help is rarely available but the clues are all there. Don't skip bits of text in your over confidence.

Knowledge of The H****t may well come in useful but please don't assume you'll skip through The Boggit just because you knew how to get out of the Goblin's Dungeon. You'll be brought up time and again by some twist of bizarre alternative reality.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I adore Delta 4's craziness. Not everyone will go for this sort of humour, but who cares?

If you enjoyed Bored you'll be just as pleased with The Boggit.

It's just as funny and sick as its predecessor but is better presented and a whole lot snappier.

It's miles better than the game it lampoons too.

Label: CRL
Author: Delta 4
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Richard Price

*****

Wonderful spoof of that Other Game. A triumph of insanity over logic with delightfully snappy humour.

5/5

Screenshot Text

GR, one of Bimbo's closest companions on the journey. He's always willing to give the boggit a shove in the right direction. You'll encounter his cheery wave time and again as you travel.

Travelling in style. Bimbo is carried to the next phase of his adventure. The extra-cushioned talons and special inverted posture make for a comfortable trip. I wish they all could be Caledonian eagles.

One of the most well-known prisons in microadventuring. Getting out of here may be dead easy if you've got a rope handy. Only problem is, you keep getting chucked back in- side. If you're still in the dark, do some digging.

The crawly horrors of Berkwood beset you! After the duty-free crossing of the forest river, things get mean and nasty. This place is real trouble. Even if you do know how to bump off the spider.