"Flintstones, meet the Flintstones. They're a modern stone-age family." America's favorite caveman and videogames seem like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, it's safe to say that you're not gonna have a "gay old time" in this prehistoric extravaganza.
Fred Flintstone's the star in this one-player, multi-scrolling, six-stage action/adventure game. Each stage begins with a cartoon segment (vintage Flintstones' style); where one of the other famous Flintstones characters needs Fred's help to locate a missing item.
When the action begins, Fred searches for the missing items in different landscapes: Wilma's necklace is lost in the streets of a Bedrock look-alike town, and Fred puts his feet to the floor in a car chase across the desert to catch a runaway Pebbles.
Although each stage features classic Flintstones stuff, the backgrounds are minimally animated, and the stage graphics are merely average. Fortunately, Fred is true to form with several amusing animations and expressions.
The game's tunes are variations of the cartoon's theme song. They're nothing special, but Flintstones fans will enjoy reminiscing to the beat.
- When you reach the area of Stage 5 where Fred has to leap on bubbles to cross the lava, don't jump onto the first bubble.
- When you climb aboard the train in Stage 4, stay as far to the right as possible. If you don't, Fred will get left behind when the train breaks in two.
The Yawn of Civilization
The Flintstones' gameplay is rather primitive by current Genesis standards. Fred swings a club to bonk unsuspecting prehistoric creatures. He runs, jumps, and swims from one end of each stage to the other.
In Stage 2, the lights go out on Fred when he meets up with the jellyfish. To turn the lights on again, Fred has to club the fish while they're not giving off their electric stings.
Power-ups include Stars (50 stars equal a 1-up), Wilmas (temporary invinciblity), Freds (1-ups), Hearts (Extra Life), Apples (Extra Health), and various point items (50,000 points equal a 1-up). If Fred finds his space friend, Kazoo, he goes to a Bonus Round. Nothing special here -- Fred just runs around trying to catch items that drop from the sky.
Leap into the second ditch after the first two flying bird platforms in Stage 1. Vault off the trampoline to leap up and to the right to meet Kazoo, and then enter the bonus round.
The controls are easy enough for even neanderthals to learn, except for the very annoying climbing interface. With the climbing interface, you have to push the jump button and simultaneously push Up to climb to higher surfaces. While this is simple to figure out, it's frustrating and unreliable at crucial moments. Even more annoying, watch out for slowdown (big time!) in areas of the game where many sprites appear on screen at once.
Fred Flintstone is an average cave guy who's got himself an average video game. Despite its prehistoric qualities, though, The Flintstones is fun to play. There's enough memorabilia, several secret items, and just enough action to ensure that the game deserves at least one play through. An adjustable challenge setting lets even Cro-Magnon gamers have some fun. Yaba-daba-do, or don't, as the case may be.
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