Saturday, 14 October 2017

Bob's Bad Day (Amiga)

Bob's Bad Day title screen
Developer:The Dome|Release Date:1993|Systems:Amiga

Super Adventures Amiga Game Month continues with Bob's Bad Day! For some reason, this is the first game that jumped into my head after playing Bill's Tomato Game, funny that.

I have to level with you folks, this is not going to be a pixel art showcase and there won't be much going on in it for me to talk about. I'm pretty much only playing it as an excuse to show off the intro... though now that I think about it, the intro won't even work without the voices. Damn.

The important thing is that I'll be done with playing the game quickly and I'll not have much to write about afterwards, so I'll be able to move on to the next Amiga game and get that published before I run out of October. Theoretically.



This is another Psygnosis published game like Bill's Tomato Game, but I've got no customised logo to show off this time. Just a bloke walking down the street. He's called Bob by the way.

I love those job titles, especially 'Set and costume design'. It's funny because the game doesn't even have rooms. Though hang on, this was made during the interactive movie era, so maybe it's got a live-action FMV end sequence that I never knew about. Man, how low res would that have to be to fit on an 880 KB floppy disk.

Bob eventually stops at a bus stop where he's joined by a wizard. It's got spoken dialogue and no subtitles, but I'll provide a script so you can read along.

                       WIZARD
           Boo!

   Bob yelps in surprise.

                       WIZARD
           That was funny, wasn't it?

                        BOB
           Oh yeah, I'm rolling around.

                       WIZARD
           You will be, Bobby-lad.

  Bob's head is magically ripped from his body, 
  crushed into a ball, and thrown into a 
  billboard dimension, with his mangled body
  following soon after.

The moral of the story: don't be cheeky to wizards. Wizards are dicks. Just agree that they're very funny and then mind your own business until you're safely on the bus.

One thing still confuses me about this intro though: is Bob wearing a hat, or is that just his hair? Because it goes spiky for a moment when he's shocked but otherwise it looks more like a hat.

The box art shows him with a hat, but then he also shows him with feet instead of hands, so I'm not sure it's 100% trustworthy.

Well Bob's lost his hat/hair, along with the rest of his body, but at least he's developed book telekinesis. I guess it's like how when you lose one sense, the others are supposed to get stronger to compensate.

Oh that's cool, they've given me a map of the maze so that I can plan my attack. In this case the maze is a rectangle, so I'm going roll around the outside... and that's pretty much all I can do.

If I somehow still find a way to get lost and run out of time, at least I know that I can always restart here on level 1, because they've thoughtfully given me a password. For level 1.

Damn, this mad ragtime piano music sounds like it belongs on a snooker game. The game looks very basic, but rotating the whole level like this on the Amiga can't have been easy. It's even got a rotating parallax background! Kind of.

So that's what I have to do in Bob's Bad Day then. There's not really any point in me spelling out that I'm rotating the level with the joystick to roll the head into every coin to open the exit, as it's fairly obvious I expect.

It's a bit like the special stages in Sonic the Hedgehog... except I'm the one tilting the level so that's not really accurate. Okay, it's like Cameltry/On the Ball, with more emphasis on getting everywhere and grabbing coins than of navigating an obstacle course to reach the goal. It's also really fast.


LEVEL 2.


Level 2 introduces the concept of power-ups, like this one that reverses gravity. Wait, that's not a power-up, that's just a pain in the ass!


LEVEL 3.


This 'fall to the left' pick up is even more annoying, as getting one means that I'll be falling to the left. My body too, presumably, when the thing finally shows up.

There's 100 levels in the game and the body was sent to level 51, so if I get that far (I won't) I'll unlock m-m-multiball and have two things to roll around from that point on. The body's like a wrecking ball, but the camera only follows the head, so keeping track of it can be a pain.


LEVEL 4.


Alright, I'm up to level 4, which looks very similar to level 3.

Hang on, this seems to be exactly the same as level 3.

Yep, that's identical. What the hell?

I guess they just have to switch the pickups around and it's like a whole new level!


LEVEL 8.


Now the orchestra hits have started. Makes me miss the piano.

The thrust power up lets me fly upwards by pressing the fire button, which is cool. Though it also means there was nothing stopping the game designer from adding spiky blade mazes for me to carefully fly through, so that's something I expect I have to look forward to.


LEVEL 9.


Damn, tricked by a gravity pickup. I tried to roll away across from the blade across the floor and ended up rolling into it across the ceiling. The game loves to bounce me between powerups like this, it finds it hilarious.

Seems that my cash acts as heath, so I can survive a hit as long as I've got some coins in my purse. I need to collect every coin to open the exit, but the game's not so bothered about what I do with them after I grab them. I'm basically just tidying up after one of those wild spinny maze coin parties that rich wizards like to go to.


LEVEL 10.


Now they've added bricks that need me to take a run up to break, and they've started sticking those spinning blades along the walls. These are supposed to be the super-easy training levels, not Super Meat Boy.

This isn't as good as Super Meat Boy by the way. I know it's not a fair comparison as they're very different genres, but it's not. I don't think it's a terrible game though and 25 years on it's still fairly unique. It's not the sort of thing I'd ever try to complete, but there's some fun in typing in a random password and playing a couple of levels until you're sick of it.


LEVEL 13.


On this level I'm learning about teleporters and the 'heavy gravity' pick up. I've learned that it doesn't make me tough enough to smash through spinning blades unharmed like I remembered (especially when I haven't collected any coins yet).

That's the last time I decide to trust my memory while playing this game... because that's my only life. Well okay the game has continues and passwords on every level, so I could keep playing, but I think I've shown enough of these GIFs now. Too much spinning.

At least I got onto the high score table. Wait, was this whole game just a scheme by the wonky wizard to get Bob to collect coins for his stash? That son of a bitch.

That's it, I'm done, you can stop reading now. Actually wait, before you go, here have a link to the intro so you can experience it with full sound: YouTube Link. See how many decades it sticks in your head.


I'll have another Amiga game for you soon with any luck. Until then all I can offer you is an empty comment box to fill. Use it well.

2 comments:

  1. Man, how low res would that have to be to fit on an 880 KB floppy disk.

    Well, the Syndicate intro was about the size of a 10p piece and that wasn't even live action, so...

    ReplyDelete
  2. > This isn't as good as Super Meat Boy by the way.

    Remain calm, medical assistance is en route. Everything's going to be fine.

    Bob's doesn't have any bosses either.

    ReplyDelete

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