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Review: Bill The Blob Arcade Version!!!
Author: David Newton (DavidN)
Added: 23/09/2003

I honestly have been trying to review things, but either they're online games (and I'm behind the St Andrews Iron Curtain so I can't play them) or the authors delete them just before I put a review up. Are people scared of me or something? Perhaps it's the Knightmare skull in the avatar that does it.

No, really - I've attempted to start writing three reviews since Saturday, and one was removed, one was online and another's ZIP file just didn't work. And you all wonder why I took a break for a while (a long, long while). Still, I'd better get on with this, there won't be many characters left for the real review at this rate.

So, eventually, I settled on this GF-made game. The Help is literally one sectence long, but it does the job - all you have to do is kill the birds to get points. Could have just been on the title screen, really - this game's simplicity is like back in the early days of gaming when we were all impressed by vector graphics and so on.

The title screen looks a little strange, I think it's because I don't have the right font for it. (Apparently my computer just doesn't have enough fonts, but I don't want it taking half a minute to load the fonts list like my old one did). If it is an unusual font, it's better to include it in the ZIP, but if not I suppose that's my problem. The word "ARCADE" flashes in all the colours of the rainbow and has six exclamation marks after it - a sure sign of someone who wears underpants on his head, according to Terry Pratchett.

On to the actual game - as I said, it's rather simple. You're a platform "blob" character, and have to spit green stuff at birds and other bloblike things to get points. The movement used is a custom movement engine, and I have to say it feels very sluggish - a speedup here would be nice, and the character seems to hover above the ground rather than actually stand on it.

It's always difficult to review demos and works in progress, because the authors tend to get a bit stroppy about what "will be changed in the Final Version!!!1". Still, all I can do is make suggestions. The counter is a default Games Factory one, so that needs to be changed - it looks out of place. Also, the explosions are off-centre - looks like the enemies Hot Spots are on the top left corner.

The graphics are nicely done - simple but they work. Yes, the explosions are taken from the GFactory libraries but I do that as well as I can't draw them. Come to think of it, I can't draw much really.

The high score option on the main menu doesn't work either. I think this game's only real purpose is to let you have a play about with the engine - if the real game has more, well, purpose to it then it could well be worth it.

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