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Bongo

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Released: 1986

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4

Publisher: Anco

Developer: Udo Gertz

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

Udo Gertz released five games on the C16, all of them head and shoulders above most of the competition. His game design was great, his visuals superb, music was top notch, and maybe most importantly for me, he was one of the few programmers that managed to master sprite manipulation on the C16.

Bongo, one of Udo’s five C16 releases, contains possibly the largest and well animated sprites to hit the machine. Bongo the rat looks lovely… as far as rats go. The game is a single screen platformer, your aim is simple – as Bongo the rat of course – to rescue the fair maiden on each screen. Another feature of Bongo is the in game music which is simply wonderful. Play the game for yourself, and see if you can resist going down the slides just to hear the accompanying ditty!

Time here should be taken to mention the cassette inlay artwork, which features a rather nicely attired distressed damsel (in a dress) – at the age of eleven, she rocked my world…

Anyway, undressed… I mean… distressed damsels ….yes… To save Bongo’s girl, our ratty hero must skitter around the screen, making use of slides, ladders, lifts and trampolines, and collect five gems on each screen. Why this would free our rodent’s girl is not entirely clear, but it does, ok? It is not advisable to question the ways of rats. This I have learned.

Bongo’s quest is of course made more difficult by the ubiquitous baddies that patrol the levels of each screen, but Bongo has a trick up his ratty sleeve – he can teleport around by standing over one of five large letters dotted around the screen that spell out his name. How so – who knows – remember, don’t question the ways of rats.

Bongo looks a simple enough game to start with (it only has six levels), but the game includes a level designer, so there is the potential to create unlimited saved sets of levels on tape – a remarkable feature in itself. This linked with the overall quality of the game makes it a real must have game.