Sam Coupe Scrapbook

The Games
- Review of Bulgulators

Information provided by: Graham Goring

Well, I bought Bulgulators at the last show, mainly because I like PacMan and also because of the extra features it boasts.

For the benefit of complete arse-faces (like myself), I'll explain the idea of PacMan. :)

In the original PacMan, you played the part of a small yellow tennis ball with a slit for a mouth, and two black eyes (not as in, smack! Ouch, I've got a black eye.). On each of the numerous and repetitive levels you had to negotiate a maze containing four ghosts intent on eating you.

Whilst doing this you had to eat all of the dots littering the maze, and perhaps eating the Power Pills, these gave you the power to eat the ghosts for a while, until it wore off and the ghosts returned from their "blue" frightened state, whereupon the ghost that you thought you had time to eat would turn round and kill you.

At the side of the screen there was a tunnel which you could enter and it would warp you to the other side of the screen, the ghosts could not follow you down this and so it proved a useful escape route.

Also, from time to time, small, food-orientated, bonuses would appear in the middle of the screen to tempt you and increase your score.

One other thing, the PacMan of the arcades had the occasional "cartoon" between levels. When I say "cartoon" I refer to a bit of mindless chasing about the screen rendered in poxy little graphics. (And I must say that The Bulgulators has captured the complete crapness of this event in side-splitting perfection).

In case you are still wondering what the hell PacMan looked like, imagine Hampton Court Maze, littered with small plates of food, and an a very fat man eating them whilst being chased by four irate and spectral police-officers and you have just about got the idea.

So, how does the Bulgulators compare?

Well, it has several new features boasted on the back of the box, namely phantom walls, and doors that need keys to be collected before you can pass through them. It also has about a hundred levels, including bonus ones where you have a time limit, but successful collecting of all the dots rewards you with an extra life.

One good feature is the inclusion of passwords every ten levels. This has prevented the game from being near-impossible. One bad feature is that I can currently get to level fifty, and have seen no sign of any phantom walls (this could be due to their inherent phantomness) or doors and keys.

It's all a bit repetitive though, I don't blame the programmers (ESI) but it really is a stupid game to re-write, unless you are going to give it TONS of new features. Plodding around one hundred badly colour co-ordinated mazes loses it's appeal really quick when you realise that they all play exactly the same.

I really hate to be nasty to the game, as it is slickly programmed with some beautiful music (if rather poo graphics), but it really doesn't cut the ice.

In my opinion, a fifty level game with a higher difficulty level and more graphical variation and more bonuses would have been FAR better. Oh well, if they ever do B2, I would they heed my feelings...

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