Amstrad Action

Bob's Full House

Author: Trenton Webb
Publisher: TV Games
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #48

Bob's Full House

The TV show Bob's Full House will not go down in history as one of the high points of British broadcasting. In fact, most people in the country have a loathe/hate relationship with it. It's real edge of sleep stuff - all those crushing puns, cute bingo lingo and of course Mr. Monkhouse himself, whom we'd all dearly love to shake warmly by the throat. Love him or loathe him, you can't love him.

So what hope is there for a computer game based on (one could hardly say inspired by) the show? It claims, although you can't be too sure why, to be an accurate representation of the TV programme. Both style and format are the same, giving you a chance to imagine you've won a new dishwasher, CPC, TV or even a dream holiday - so called because, even if you win, a dream it will stay.

After an eternity of loading time the game finally presents itself. It looks promising. You're invited to type in your name, which appears above your very own bingo card, along with a little person who mutters silently away throughout the whole show. Even the simple man in the shiny grey suit and the brylcreem smile is there, so all is set and it's time to get your eyes down for a full house.

Bob's Full House

The first round, as you know (Come on, admit it!) is a race to answer four questions and light the cornermost numbers of your bingo card. As soon as Bob has popped the question it's a sprint to your bell, each player having a different key. If you play against the computer, watch out: its players are quick but thick, not much competition but they get in the way.

To answer a question, you not only have to know the answer, but you've got to type it in: no trouble when the answer is something like "blue", but when it comes to "Who was India's first female Prime Minister?" you may know the answer but can you spell it?

The spelling element frees more memory for question storage, since you are required to type in the correct answer, rather than choosing from four options, as is the case in multiple choice quizzes such as A Question Of Sport. The spelling also gives each question a longer shelf life, because when the computer answers you don't get to see what it writes to itself. You could, for example, remain forever in the dark as to the identity of the youngest member of the House of Lords!

Bob's Full House

Rounds progress as in the show: light the middle line of your card and then illuminate all your remaining numbers. The winner chooses from a range of wonderful household appliances: fridges, stereos and kettles - golly gosh, I can hardly contain my excitement!

The champion gets the chance for a go at Bob's Golden Bingo Card to win a holiday. You've one minute to reveal the letters spelling out a dream destination. This final lap is really tough, with over twenty questions in under a minute.

Second Opinion

If you're a Bob Monkhouse fan then a) you're ill, and b) you'll probably enjoy Bob's Full House. Not my thing, but it can't be denied that Domark have done a good job, as always.

Green Screen View

Bob's Full House

Fine great super (insincere grin)

First Day Target Score

Beat the computer.

The Verdict

Graphics 73%
P. Entertaining presentation of a visually limited concept.

Bob's Full House

Sonics 52%
P. TV-style tune, buzzers and little else.

Grab Factor 55%
P. Accessible quiz game.
N. Limited initial appeal.

Staying Power 59%
P. Over six hundred questions.
N. Format limits the games.

Overall 58%
P. Not as unwatchable as the TV gameshow.

Trenton Webb

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