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The Flintstones (Grandslam)

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The Flintstones
The Flintstones (Grandslam).jpg
"Yabba-dabba...don't."
— ChinnyHill10
Protagonist(s): Fred Flintstone
Genre(s): Action
Platform(s): Atari ST
Amiga
MSX
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC
Sega Master System
Release: Atari ST, Amiga, MSX, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
EU: 1988
Sega Master System
EU: 1991
BR: April 1992
Developer(s): Teque Software Development
Tiertex Design Studios (Sega Master System)
Publisher(s): Grandslam Entertainments Ltd.
Tec Toy (Brazil; Sega Master System)
Country: United Kingdom
Series: The Flintstones
"Now, there are actually some quite decent Flintstones games out there, when you think about it; some fine 8-bit platformers on the NES, a nice 16-bit game on the Mega Drive, they've done okay for the most part. With the exception, of course, of the bloody UK computer game, here once again to ruin the entire day. Grandslam are the culprits this time, and their idea of a brilliant and involving Flintstones game is to start everything off by having Fred paint the bloody wall of his house. Not a joke, we have suspensful and hair-raising wall-painting action! Move that ladder, get that paint on there, beat the devil out of that brush! Stop Pebbles from leaving her contempt doodling all over your work! Can you take the pressure? Actually, you probably can't. The controls are so awful and the time limit's so tight that you more than likely won't beat this first stage. Painting will defeat you. If you do beat it, you get to go bowling with Barney in a bowling sim even more simplistic than Elf Bowling, and then play a broken vertical platformer. As with so many of these games, it's just not worth it, is it?"
Kim Justice
"The Flintstones - a classic example of how to really foul up a license with fantastic potential. Well done, Teque, well done! Superb work, you've done a great job here! As I said before, why produce one good game when you could just give the buying public four terrible games? (...) A huge waste of a license, a huge waste of the customers' money, and frankly...oh dear. From the people who gave you Chubby Gristle, they've squeezed out another, well, Chubby Gristle."
ChinnyHill10

The Flintstones was a 1988 action game developed by Teque Software Development and published by Grandslam Entertainments for the major home computer formats of the time, with a Sega Master System port being released by Tiertex in 1991. It is based on the TV series of the same name by Hanna-Barbera.

Description

Bowl or Bust! Fred and Barney want to go bowling but Wilma has other ideas......and guess who's left holding the baby? Join The Flintstones in this officially licensed arcade adventure based on the famous Hanna Barbera cartoon characters.

Why It Sucks

  1. The first level involves Fred painting a wall within the time limit, all while babysitting Pebbles and making sure she doesn't draw on the wall and ruin the paint. It's as tedious as it sounds, for numerous reasons:
    • The brush has a limited amount of paint that runs out very quickly, and it only paints certain parts of the wall.
    • If you try to stop Pebbles, Fred will drop his brush, as he can't carry them both at the same time for whatever reason.
    • You have to paint every single pixel of the wall in order to advance to the next level. If you're off by one pixel, or if Pebbles even draws one drawing on the wall, the level may ultimately end in failure.
    • The time limit in the first level is also very strict.
  2. The second level has Fred driving Barney to the Bedrock bowling alley within the time limit, playing like a poorman's version of Moon Patrol.
    • If Fred trips over a rock, he ends up losing a wheel from his car, even though wheels are also made of rock.
    • Sometimes, when arriving at the bowling alley, Barney may say that it's closed, even if the player still has plenty of time left.
  3. The third level involves Fred having to beat Barney at bowling.
    • In the computer versions, it takes way too long for Fred to roll his bowling ball, as when he rolls the ball, it takes about 10-15 seconds before the bowling ball shows up to hit the pins.
    • The bowling physics are completely unpredictable. Sometimes, Fred may end up rolling the bowling ball well and only hit a small amount of pins.
    • Even if the player ranks up enough speed to hit the bowling pins, the bowling ball may end up rolling really slowly.
  4. The fourth level involves rescuing Pebbles by platforming through a construction site while avoiding clouds and other obstacles.
    • Fred has fall damage, as he loses a life if he ends up getting pushed by a cloud and falls from a great height.
    • When you reach Pebbles, it doesn't end the level. You have to get her back down to the ground, as if reaching her wasn't already difficult enough.
  5. Poor grasp of the source material:
    • Despite appearing on the cover and loading screen, Betty Rubble doesn't appear in the game at all.
    • Aside from bowling with Fred in level 3 and rescuing Pebbles in level 4 if Fred loses all his lives, Barney plays no significant role in the game, not even as an optional second player.
  6. The music is a poor rendition of the Flintstones theme that plays throughout the whole game, which, at certain points, sounds very similar to the theme music of Chubby Gristle, another Grandslam/Teque game that had equally repetitive music.
    • The Amiga version's music sounds really horrible, sounding like a muffled version of the theme song from the Atari ST and 8-bit versions.
  7. The game is very short, with only four levels that can be beaten in about 20 minutes with enough patience.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The graphics on the Sega Master System, Atari ST and Amiga versions are really good, and faithful to the show.
  2. There's a practice mode for the painting and bowling levels.
  3. The music can be turned off in the ZX Spectrum and Master System versions.

Reception

The Flintstones game received mixed reviews. The magazines praised the graphics and music, but criticized the gameplay for being infuriating, especially the first level which involved painting a wall. Zzap! magazine rated the C64 version of the game at 40%, calling it "a poor interpretation of the cartoon, only recommended for die-hard fans", while Sega Power, who rated the Master System version 21%, said it was "lousy to play and appalling value for money".

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