The Flintstones review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Darwin's theory of evolution expresses the belief that pre-historic man was a bi-ped capable of using his hands to carve intricate hunting tools. Unfortunately ol' Charlie was completely wrong as is made plainly obvious by the existence of Fred Flintstone. While Fred doesn't have a neck, he does have a job, a car, a wife, a bowling partner and a house in the suburbs of Bedrock.
But the pleasant mayhem of the Flintstones' existence is ruined when a certain Dr Butler appears in a time machine. After explaining he is a 30th Century zoo keeper, he whips away Dino and Hoppy, the beloved family pets. Gazoo, Fred's alien buddy, is just about to rev up his time machine in pursuit when Dr Butler destroys it, scattering the parts all over Bedrock county.
Sad isn't it? Well before you start blubbing over your NES, there is hope. Fred has been assigned the job of hunting for the scattered parts of the time machine. With the aid of his trusty club and the Flinstones clan, Fred has to make his way through jungles, past gangsters, and across waterways to hunt down the valuable shrapnel. He even has to challenge villains to basketball matches on his quest! But when Dino and Hoppy are safety back in suburban Bedrock, the family that laughed in the face of Dr Darwin, can laugh even louder in the face of Dr Butler.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
I can't really say that The Flintstones is one of my favourite cartoons, but this NES interpretation of Fred's various antics isn't bad at all. The backdrops and sprites are instantly reminiscent of the Hanna Barbera cartoon series, and the various creatures and large dinosaurs are all as faithful as you'll get. Gameplay-wise, the Flintstones is pretty standard fare. It's yet another platform game and I couldn't really find anything new or outstanding in it that really makes the game feel fresh or exciting. Having said that, The Flintstones isn't an awful example of the genre and will appeal to younger players and fans of the cartoon series. However, if it's platform action you're after, you're better off getting Super Mario III, Shadow Warrior, Kabuki or Rescue Rangers. All offer far more in the way of playability than this effort.
During my mis-spent youth, I was an avid fan of The Flintstones. It is to this game's credit that it succeeded in bringing the memories flooding back. The animation and graphics certainly evoke the "modern stone age family", what with dinosaur bones, prehistoric backdrops, and the familiar heroes and villains. Unfortunately the gameplay comes straight from the stone age as well. The controls are sometimes slow to respond getting you into some tricky situations, and the game suffers from quite a lot of sprite flicker. These problems in themselves need not lt the game down, but the lack of originality here relegates this to just another NES platform game to add to the ever growing pile. The Flintstones is also quite an easy game, and no real challenge to platform fiends. Despite my gripes, although I quite enjoyed playing The Flintstones, I'm afraid you won't get a "Yabbadabbadoo!" out of me!
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