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Bobby Is Going Home

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Released: 1983

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Atari 2600

Publisher: CCE

Developer: Bit Corporation

Submitted by: Craig Hawkins

Bobby isn't out to rescue a princess. Bobby isn't on a quest to stop an evil force from destroying the world. Bobby is going home. And what could be more exciting than a game about walking home? Those who've traversed a city street after midnight or carefully inched past some hoodies in an alleyway will know that there is nothing more thrilling or rewarding than completing a walk home without being murdered.

Bobby looks like he's already had quite the night. He's naked from the waist down and the song 'What a Friend We Have In Jesus' is going round and round in his head. This is the kind of lyric you might sing to comfort yourself after being traumatised. The back of the box explains that Bobby sees the world as a beautiful place and considers his life perfect until this day when he meets with 'strange troubles'. My goodness, I dare not think what has happened to the poor child on this day. We'd better get him home as soon as possible.

To do so requires navigating seven screens of bats, birds, sliding bridges and various inanimate objects. I prefer to replace these items in my mind with Big Issue sellers, prostitutes, teenage gangs and dog mess. The game doesn't end upon Bobby's safe return to his parents, though. No sir, we get to guide him home every night. Yay! He insists on taking the same perilous route each time, only in a different order to rearrange the screen sequences and obstacle placements. You had best prepare to bump into Mr Repetitive before long.

So now we're home, I really ought to do some housekeeping in this profile. The game has a wide range of different identities, including the common German name of 'Bobby Geht Heim', the simple 'Bobby', the somewhat hostile 'Bob Go Home' and the thoroughly confusing 'Jumpy Jack', 'Felix Return' and 'Niky Wanders'. In some versions Bobby even has his trousers back on, and if you're really lucky, you might find the Brazilian 2-in-1 cartridge which couples the game with Pooyan.