The Flintstones (SMS) Review

Click here to view The Flintstones (SMS) description page for screenshots and more information.

Review by The Every Gamer (August 2017)

Score: F

  Before I start this, I promise there will be no Grand Dad jokes, it’s old and dated, not to say I’m not a fan of SilverGunner, but I think everyone and their mother have done a Grand Dad joke relating to this. Anyway, what I’m not a fan of, is this terrible game. But I guess we need some filth in this temple of good games. So let’s talk about the TV show it was based on for filler’s sake.

  The Flintstones was an animated family sitcom that aired from 1960 to 1966, with some spin-offs, movies and other stuff released since. The show was about a caveman family, a grand ol’ bloke named Fred Flintstone and his wife and two children…and a flipping dinosaur for a pet. It mostly depicted them being in all sorts of hi-jinks and whatnot, along with the interesting gimmick of technology that was used back in the late 50’s being used in the stone age, but altered to be more prehistoric.

   I grew up watching it, mostly on BBC Two, but I don’t remember much of watching it at the time. The show was very successful and has had a long lasting legacy (mostly because it was the first animated prime-time sitcom for its time), which is fascinating because this was made by Hanna-Barbera, whose animations cost 5p and a tuna sandwich to produce. Heck, they could have made 3D animation out of toothpicks if they could.

   In terms of games, there have been 16 titles based on The Flintstones license. The first one was Yabba Dabba Doo! released for the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64. But since I can’t be bothered to boot up emulators for THOSE computers, how about the next one for the Sega Master System. I know it was also released on other consoles, mostly home computers, but it’s the Master System where I’m comfortable with, UK success and all.

   The Flintstones, developed by Tiertex and published by Grandslam, was released in 1988 for home computers, but the Sega Master System was released in 1991 in Europe and in 1992 in Brazil. HOLD ON! You mean to tell me that this game was published by…Grandslam? GOD DAMMIT I CAN’T ESCAPE IT, CAN I!?

   There are four stages, the first level involves Fred painting a wall whilst making sure that his baby daughter, Pebbles, stays in her cot and doesn’t go and paint mess on the wall. Reasons for the level being annoying is that you have to paint the walls and it can be finicky due to the controls, but it wouldn’t be too bad if Pebbles didn’t get out of that flaming cot, meaning that you need to stop everything and tend to her…but what’s worse is that you have a timer, so you don’t have long to finish the level.

   The second level involves you driving to the Bowling Alley whilst having to make it in time. It’s a driving game where you need to control your rock car, mostly by jumping over rocks on the ground, but the jumps are just weird to pull off and take strange timing so you’re prone to constantly mis-jump and if you crash on these rocks, one of the wheels will fall off and you have to jack the car as quickly as possible by quickly pressing 1 & 2, then collect the wheel and continue on…and hopefully you don’t do it a second time…or third…or fourth…or TURN OFF THE DAMN CONSOLE!!! So yeah, you need to get to the Bowling Alley without screwing up one too many times. Though I will say, it is the best level, (for a game like this), compared to what else the game has to offer.

   Then there’s the third level, in which you have to beat your best friend, Barney, in a game of bowling. I…don’t know how it actually works at all, I don’t know if it’s because 2D Bowling is confusing or…

   And finally, the fourth and final level involves you rescuing Pebbles for some reason, and it’s the worst level in the game. The level is a platformer as you jump on platforms to get to the top, but if you drop down, you die. Now for those who have played ZX Spectrum games, think of those stiff platformers where jumping feels way off and physics tend to go by Donkey Kong standards and it’s difficult to do anything because the controls are broken because…oh, I just remembered something, Tiertex developed this. Considering that they also developed Strider 2 for the Sega Mega Drive (NOT THAT STRIDER 2), this makes a lot of sense, it seems Tiertex can’t make games for piss.

   So the game is a bunch of poorly made mini-games that either didn’t work with the controls being on a wheelchair or was programmed with the 8-bit computers in mind and thought it was OK to release it in that state for the bloody Sega Master System…OK, to be fair to this game, it’s better than Alf…and thank goodness that stayed in America.

   The graphics are pretty good and remain faithful to the original cartoon. The level design is just awful and the music is the main theme with some remixes and it’s all just depressing as hell…I mean, I had to turn the volume off it just made me really sad and had to listen to Mock The Week’s Scenes We’d Like to See (you should check them out on YouTube, it’s hilarious).

   Overall, The Flintstones is another terrible licensed game but this is a strange case as it feels like Tiertex took whatever they made from an 8-bit computer and put it on consoles…and OH BOY does it feel like it, only that jerky gameplay could work for 8-bit computers I guess, but not for a home console, but this is Tiertex, their games are made with 1p and a tea bag, and Hanna-Barbera could have done something marvelous with that.

  You can get The Flintstones on the Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and MSX.

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