Personal Computer News18th August 1984
Published in Personal Computer News #074
Fun With Fat Man
Fun With Fat Man
Don't let the packaging fool you. Hi Bouncer! may feature Roger Hargreaves' lovable Mr. Men characters - but it's not just a game for younger players, even if arcade freaks may find it a bit simple.
There are four screens, each with different goals. In the first you have to retrieve Mr. Tall's scarf, which keeps jumping around, blown by the wind. The second screen involves trying to land feet first on a see-saw to rouse Mr. Lazy. Screen three sees you attempting to catch fruit for Mr. Bumb while in the fourth you try to protect Mr. Snow from the blazing sun.
The tape comes with two versions of the game. On side one there's a practice game, followed by the arcade speed version, and this order is reversed on side two, a very good idea.
The graphics are pretty good, the backgrounds are simple scenes but quite well done. Screen one, for example, shows Mr. Tall at the right, a road running off into the distance and the action takes place on a road at the foot of the screen. At all levels other Mr. Men appear and move around the area of play, but jumping onto, or bumping into, any of them loses you a life. You'll also suffer should you hit any of the pitfalls, such as puddles or birds.
Losing a life makes Mr. Bounce zoom around the screen like a demented punctured balloon. Clouds and birds drift across the sky and the whole atmosphere is nicely relaxed.
Control of Mr. Bounce is via joystick or keyboard. For the latter, there's the usual configuration of Z and X for left and right, with asterisk for jump and the question mark for slowing down. The controls are such that you can alter the in-flight trajectory of Mr. Bounce, which can make for some interesting manoeuvres.
This is an amusing, varied and colourful game. The practice programs will allow the youngest games player to make good progress, but the arcade speed version will hardly test more experienced players. There's no violence and, while the movement is restricted to up, down, left and right in the one plane and the tasks are fairly similar, the backgrounds and graphics are sufficiently different to sustain interest.