Posts Tagged ‘The Flintstones’

Yabba Dabba Doo (or Don’t)… The Flintstones

June 14, 2012

Some weird alternate universe Flintstones family…

Hanna-Barbera Licensed Games

Title: The Flintstones

Year: 1988

Developer: Teque

Publisher: Grandslam

The first in a series of blog posts looking at cartoon licences on the Amiga, specifically from Hanna-Barbera (made a shiny new category on the side bar for it). I’ve managed to find at least 11 games so far that were released on the Amiga under the H-B flag.

Whether or not these were a success has already been decided by history, but I’ve decided to revisit them, mainly because I’ve not played them all before, and also because I love the original cartoons. I have fond memories of the Top Cat and Scooby and Scrappy Doo Amiga games back in the day so it will interesting to re-visit these two most of all, however, the rest I am playing for the first time. Purely for alphabetical reasons out of the games I’ve selected, I’m going to first take a look at The Flintstones (1988) from Grandslam.

The title screen and theme tune appear nice and quickly on this single disk game, with even a little animation (inspired by the cartoon show) to get us into the game.

Animated intro, with obligatory Yabba Dabba Doo from Fred.

You play as Fred Flintstone, who cannot go bowling with pal Barney Rubble until he has painted a wall, once this mini game is completed you drive with Barney (also another mini game) to the bowling alley. The bowling section of the game makes up the majority of the game, once done you then go on a completely unrelated (in all senses of the word) platform style mission to rescue Pebbles, avoiding giant nuts and bolts along the way. Yeah, okay then.

The game play is, um, varied to say the least. A couple of mini games which consist of painting a wall and bowling, intercut with a driving game and rounded off with some platform action (Ed – I wouldn’t really call it action). With such a rich source of material that is The Flintstones cartoon series, that can be applied to a multitude of genres, you wonder how they could have failed. It’s a pure and simple case of “what were they thinking?”, or maybe they just weren’t thinking at all? Why did they think painting a wall would make a great game? Domestic chores, really? Even more frustrating is that if you don’t finish in the alloted time, the game resets and you have to start from scratch, with Wilma basically calling you useless and lazy.

Paint the wall in time, if not, the paint all magically disappears… gah.

However, for me, painting the wall was probably the most bearable part of the game, the controls weren’t as bad as I had read about, and with a little thinking involved it was actually pretty easy to beat if you stuck with it (good tip, do the top sections first, working from right to left, then the bottom working left to right). Painting done Fred is allowed to go bowling. The driving section consists of a side scrolling ride in the car, with Barney in the passenger seat, just don’t hit the rocks in the road, well, that’s if the terrible collision detection will let you avoid them. Oh wait, the car jumps? Really? Yup, you basically have to make the entire car ‘jump’ over rocks, otherwise your wheel falls off and you have to replace it. I’m really sure they could have thought of something a little more mind numbing, tedious and pointless? (Ed – Sheldon, sarcasm)

Controls from this point onwards really do let the game down a lot. The bowling section really needed some more thought in this respect, the little Fred and Barney animations when they bowl could have made for a really fun part of the game, instead it is painfully slow, difficult, and boring, even the scoring is hard to read, and given this fills the majority of the game it seems like a plus not to make to the next section (lucky for me, I didn’t make it to the next section). Thankfully, someone else has been brave and kind enough to do the hard work for us, the Amiga long play of this game is on YouTube, see link below, where the wonderful cubex55 has saved me from tearing my hair out.

Finally free from the tedium of bowling with Barney, you suddenly have to rescue Pebbles in the games final section.  It unfortunate that the game descends into this, it looks rushed,  and the enemies are completely unrelated to the show, it seems like the worst idea I’ve ever seen for a platform section of a game. I’m still not even sure how we got from a night out bowling to having to rescue Pebbles? Domestic chores to kidnapping, who would have thought it. In the end it looks like the Flintstones family are all re-united and happy, awww.

Beat Barney at bowling, tedium strikes.

I do like to try to find some good in games, but this one was tough, the painting part of the game was okay, and the character sprites and little animations were pleasing to the eye (with low expectations, naturally).

Overall though it’s a frustrating menagerie of under-developed and miscalculated mini-games with the Flintstones name slapped on it. I guess in all honesty I don’t expect much from these types of licenses but occasionally you do get a good game in amongst them. There is also a Spectrum version of this game and a Master System one, in which the latter the characters are all the right colour on the title screen. Yay. For a game that retailed at £19.95 back in the day I expect a few people were disappointed with this choice of game.

A few stone age related games that won’t make you want to lob your Amiga out of a window are Prehistorik, Ugh! and Chuck Rock, so if you fancy a quick jaunt to the era of the caveman I’d recommend trying these 3, and leave The Flintstones firmly were it belongs, in the past.

Coming up next in the series, Huckleberry Hound!

Other Links

Lemon Amiga page for The Flintstones with game screenshots, player views and other info!

Please see below for cubex55’s awesome YouTube channel, and to watch the Amiga Longplay [863] The Flintstones, played by Hipoonios

The Flintstones Longplay


Mid Week Mini: Frank Welker

April 15, 2010

Frank Welker

Born: 12 March 1946, Denver, Colorado, USA

Job: Voice Actor

I have the utmost respect for voice artists, who  are the talented individuals who we never really seem to hear much about (ironically), and don’t seem to be as recognised in the public eye as on-screen actors, even though they bring as much talent, hard work and entertainment to our screens, if not that little bit more.  

There are many talents in the voice acting world, but none have left me as impressed and star struck as Frank Welker. This mid week mini is a dedication to a veteran actor, who specialises in voice acting and who is responsible for a broad spectrum of character voices and other vocal effects that have appeared over the last 40 years in film and television. Frank Welker’s resume is as impressive as his range of vocal talents and memorable character voices. Please check out Franks IMDB page to see the impressive list of over 600 projects he has been involved in.

I actually became fascinated by voice acting through Futurama, I realised some of the talent involved in this show actually voiced characters from cartoons going back to my childhood. After I discovered Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Morbo, Calculon) voiced Egon Spengler from The Real Ghostbusters I decided to look further. I found Frank Welker’s impressive career not only started back in the 1960’s but quickly realised he practically voiced all my favourite cartoon characters from my childhood. Amongst others he voiced Ray Stantz and Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters as well as Nibbler from Futurama. Frank Welker lends his talents to more distinct voice acting including animal and creature vocals as well as speaking roles.

Frank Welker’s most recurring role is as the voice of Fred from Scooby-Doo. According to the ‘interweb’ (take it or leave it) he has done every voicing of Freddy “Fred” Jones for all of the Scooby-Doo series with the sole exception of “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” (1988). Even in parodies and cameos on different TV shows (such as Family Guy) he has always done this voice and has played the character since 1969.

Another character I instantly recognised was that of Megatron in Transformers (1984). Recent speculation as to why Welker didn’t return to the role alongside Peter Cullen in the Transformers Movie was strange news indeed but at least he reprised his role for the Transformers video game, you can check out a small clip of Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron) working together again below.

Characters such as Nibbler (non-speaking and speaking) and Slimer, who don’t really talk but speak through different noises and sounds all have a similar Welker sound to them, each one reminds me of the other in some way. I love the way he can change from a character such as Ray to Slimer instantly and you’d think it was two different actors. Looking at IMDB Frank is often cast in animated productions as the “voice” of various animal or creature characters or listed as “additional vocal effects”. Other famous “non-speaking” roles include the voice of the monkey Abu from Aladdin (1992), its sequels and the TV series adaptation as well as Dungeons and Dragons (1983 – 1985) as Tiamat the dragon and Uni, two very different characters of good and evil in the same show.

The character I remember most fondly is Dr. Raymond Stantz from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series (1986-1991) as well as a few episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters (1997). I think he brought great character to Ray and it was great to see the interaction between him and Slimer. Slimer’s voice is what also made me realise his work in other cartoon series.

Animal vocals you might also recognise include Santas Little Helper (The Simpsons), Dino (The Flintstones), Furrball, Gogo Dodo (Tiny Toon Adventures). These are just a few of the ones I’ve recognised, more so since I became aware of Frank’s distinct talents and style. I could probably go on but these particular projects I have grown up with and love to re-watch when the mood takes me, I love listening out for all the parts played by Frank Welker as well as keeping up to date with other voice artists and finding out what they have been in.

As well as the IMDB page please visit this webpage on Frank Welker it is a goldmine of information and has its own interesting information, vids, downloads and links.

One of the clips from the website is from a Rolf’s Cartoon Club Special on The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, this clip includes a reading session with Maurice LeMarche (Egon) and Frank Welker (Ray and Slimer)

Making of Clip “The Real Ghostbusters”

More Ghostbusters info can be found here at Spook Central!

More recently Frank has been involved in Alice in Wonderland (2010) as additional vocal effects and Toy Story 3 (2010) as the character RC. I always look forward to listening out for Frank Welker in the latest movies and cartoons and when I discover something new or related to cartoons I watched during my childhood it brings back some great memories.