"It's the Flintstones, meet the Flintstones..." victims of yet another TV licensing deal, Fred and Wilma Flintstone have been turned into a not-terribly-good game which, I am told, is much better on the C64 than on the Spectrum. The C64 version has been described as "diabolical", which gives you some idea of what we're up against here.
Fred is attempting to start a thriving stone-age community, the town of Bedrock, and wants winsome Wilma to set up home with him to get things started. But as Fred doesn't yet have a home for them to get set up in, his first task is to build one.
The game begins on a desolate landscape with mountains in the background and loads of rocks scattered around. This screen is where Fred will build his house. There are two types of rock on the ground around him, small ones which have to be collected and dumped into a quarry to clear the ground, and larger ones which are what Fred uses for building materials. Fred can only carry one rock at a time, so clearing the site of all the small stones means carrying them one after the other to the quarry, a task that isn't at all exciting or challenging (despite the pterodactyls, dinosaurs and turtles that he may bump into and which drain his energy) and which quickly becomes repetitive.
Finding the large rocks isn't much more fun, but since these are scattered over a number of screens you have to do a bit of searching in order to find them. Eventually Fred will have to find a car to help him go looking for rocks, and also to try and find Wilma (who likes to hang out at the Burger Bar, yet still manages to keep that slim figure. How does she do it?)
Controlling Fred's movements is awkward, since he can move onto different pathways either closer to, or further from the mountains, but he can only do so when he's right at the edge of the screen. And, as all the screens look very similar, it's hard to tell which screen Fred's on until you try and retrace your steps and realise that you're lost.
There is also a 'beat the clock' element in the game, as Fred's neighbours are also building their own homes and there's a large score bonus to be had if he beats them to it. Unfortunately this failed to add any excitement to the game as I found the rest of the action so uninspiring that the possibility of a bonus wasn't enough to get me worked up against it.
The graphics are the best part of the game, smoothly animated and capturing something of a cartoon style, but the game itself has none of the action or fun of the original.
Another licensing deal bites the dust.