Bobby Bearing (The Edge) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

Bobby Bearing
By The Edge
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #28

Bobby Bearing

George Duval looks at the latest 3D offering from The Edge

Within the last four months, three different games based on the Marble Madness theme have been released. First came Gyroscope, and the less said about that, the better! Next was Spin Dizzy, a game I personally thought was great. With Bobby Bearing, The Edge have stretched the Spectrum to its absolute limits, and in doing so have produced an all time great.

You play Bobby, a small and immensely cute little bearing who is getting lonely having no company. Upon hearing that your cousins are not too far away, you set about attempting to find them, and return them to the safety of your home. Unfortunately, they are immobile, and you must therefore push them everywhere!

Bobby Bearing is played in about two hundred and fifty screens, each of which has different entrances and exits. Getting from A to B is fraught with difficulties, and to be even slightly successful, you must learn your way about. To succeed in Bobby Bearing you must be prepared to make a map! To help, as well as hinder, there are a series of lifts and mobile blocks. These can either take you to a new section of the map, or more often squash you. After a couple of hours play, it soon becomes apparent that certain 'tricks' must be employed.

As far as hazards go, the game revolves more around the difficulty of play, rather than deadly enemies; although there are a few 'baddie bearings' - complete with fangs and leers - who chase you around various screens. To counter this, you must rush them American-Football-style, and then dive out of the screen.

Graphically, Bobby bearing is stunning. Using a technique the Edge call 'Curvispace 3-D', the realism created by the rolling of the bearings is quite remarkable. What makes this game so superior to all the other Marble Madness games I have seen is the animation and backgrounds. No longer are the backgrounds flat facets with sharp angles. Bobby Bearing has curves, loops and bends - all of which you roll around with unreal accuracy.

Once Bobby has managed to locate a cousin, the first of which is called Barnaby (ahh!), you must push him through the maze back to the original start screen. It is only when you attempt this that you realise what all the banking around each corner is for; you try pushing a bearing round a ninety degree turn!

In all, there are five different cousins to rescue - or to get squashed! - all of whom are spread at the extremeties of the massive maze. Only when you get near the edges of the maze do you discover all the really clever little touches, which include switches which make you immune to all dangers for thirty seconds. Of these, my personal favourite are the hot air blasts which throw Bobby into the air, enabling him to reach higher ledges. If I had to criticise the game, a map similar to Spin Dizzy would have made life a great deal easier - although I'm not sure if that is what The Edge would have wanted!

Otherwise, Bobby Bearing is very nearly perfect. This may sound a bit over the top, but this game deserves a whole string of superlatives. If you want to buy one game this year, and as yet you are undecided, buy Bobby Bearing and help him save his cousins - you certainly won't regret it!!!