REVIEW: Grade A+:
Now here stands a game that is literally at the pinnacle (or one of the
pinnacles) of TI-99/4A gaming. As with Blasto and Hustle from last
months article, Bigfoot is another one of those Milton Bradley
masterpieces. Considering how well Milton Bradley programmed their
games, one has to wonder why they never came out with their own video
game system as it sure would have been a great machine. But enough of
my rambling, on to the Bigfoot review!
The game pits you, a mountain climber, against the dreaded Bigfoot who
stands at the top of the mountain. The goal of the game is to reach the
summit and lower a cage to capture the beast. As with any video game it
wouldn't be a challenge if all you had to do was simply get to the top
of the mountain, so there are a number of obstacles that stand in your
way of getting there. The biggest obstacles are the boulders that
Bigfoot himself rolls down the mountain at you. These big rocks will
roll along the ledges of the mountain until they fall off at the bottom
of the screen. The only way to avoid them is by clinging to the ropes
that you can throw to each ledge (as seen in the screen shot to the
right). This can prove to be very tricky since you have to keep a sharp
eye out for the boulders and make sure you throw a rope out before they
get too close or otherwise you'll be knocked off the ledge and plummet
to your death.
In addition to the ropes helping you avoid boulders being rolled down
the mountain, they also are your only device to get to the summit or
travel from ledge to ledge. This is perhaps the most interesting aspect
of the game since there is no predefined path like in a game such as
Donkey Kong. Many games from this time period would have had ladders on
the mountain that you would have had to climb, but not here! You must
seek out your own path to the top, which not only makes this game more
difficult but also much more unique. It's mostly because of this twist
that the game has been considered one of the top TI-99/4A games. Now in
addition to just climbing the ropes and avoiding boulders, there are
actually crows that will fly past at random that can snatch the rope
you are on and leave your climber yelling "Put me Down!" (if you have
the speech synthesizer or MBX system). Well the crow does indeed put
you down, he drops the rope right in mid-air! Needless to say this
leads to the loss of one of your lives.
The final aspect of the game that needs to be mentioned is that you
cannot just climb to the top of the mountain, but actually need to pick
up the gold and climbing supplies which are strewn about on various
ledges. However, you must collect these items in a certain order (one
of the climbing supplies must be gathered before you can pick up one of
the gold piles) and only after all these things are collected can you
reach the top and cage Bigfoot.
Overall, this game really shines not just in terms of its gameplay but
also because of the beautiful graphics and the speech synthesis. From
the realistic sound of a metal hook latching on to a ledge to the sound
of your climber yelling "Put me down...Ahhhhh!!!!!" (as he falls his
voice slowly fades away) this game really demonstrates how well Milton
Bradley knew the TI-99/4A! In addition, if you happen to have an MBX
system then the player can take advantage of the comfortable 360º
Analog Joystick that Milton Bradley made for the device. All in all,
this game is a MUST HAVE and is in my TOP 10 games for the TI-99/4A.
I've seen this game pop up on eBay every now and then and it is highly
recommended for anyone interested in collecting/playing on the TI-99/4A
system, so be sure to grab it.
TRIVIA: According to programmer Warren Amerman the
development name for this game was Yeti.
TRIVIA: This game can be used
Bradley's MBX System
(an add-on for the TI-99/4A). The MBX allowed for the use of Voice
Speech Synthesis, a 360°
Joystick, and an Action-Input Keypad for video games designed for it.