Your Sinclair

The Bobby Yazz Show

Author: Marcus Berkmann
Publisher: Crash
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #35

The Bobby Yazz Show

"Hi! And welcome to the Marcus Berkmann show (simper, slurp)! On my show tonight I'll be talking to my accountant, my dentist, my adoring wife Gloreen and our three delightful children Darren, Karen and Sharon! And I'll be talking to them about my very own favourite subject (twinkle) - myself!"


Instead of that bilge, try loading the Bobby Yazz Show instead. Destiny's latest game is writen by Cybadyne (ideas and design by Mik Smithh, code by Christian Urquhart) and they've really pulled the stops out. On the surface, as you may have sussed out, the game's supposed to be a withering satire on De Box, but actually it's just a really boff puzzle game in the tradition of things like Tetris. I loved it.

The Bobby Yazz Show

You area contestant on the network's top game show, The Bobby Yazz Show. Yazz (who has little or nothing to do with the Plastic Population, as far as I can make out) is a man with the charm of a piranha, and, come to think of it, the teeth of one too. A man whose ego blots out the sun, and whose suits blind at a hundred paces.

The game, on the other hand, is a more brainy affair. There are four sorts of rounds, Colour Levels, Blind Levels, Key Levels and Bonus Levels. All involve whifffing a little remote thingy around a grid of squares within a time limit, but each is quite different in terms of object and ground rules.

On the Colour Level, you simply have to change over the colour of each square by landing on it - a bit like Bounty Bob and countless other games I can't remember! Other remotes fly about changing the colour back, but by crashing into them you can destroy them.

On the Blind Level, you have a path across the grid to traverse, but you can't actually see it. Squares will appear as you step on them, but before that it's trial and error. As you can imagine, this is the sort of round that's hellishly difficult until you've worked it out - and then it becomes dead easy.

On the Key Level, you have a grid as on the Colour Level, but here there are only a few highlighted squares which you have to land on. Trouble is, the nasties here don't affect the squares, but they do affect you when you land on them - by killing you! When you've touch all the squares you have to, an arrow will appear which you have to land on to complete the round.

Then it's on to the Bonus Round. Here you first have to land on certain green bonus squares (which have an irritating habit of disappearing just as you're approaching them) within a time limit - very tricky indeed.

Colour Levels (after the first one) and Key Levels are complicated 'gates' suddenly appearing in the grid. Most stay there for a few seconds before reverting to their original colour and the different types do different things if you land on them - some kill you, some glue you to that square for a while, some re-set the matrix without re-setting the clock (evil!) while other more friendly gates give you extra lives, extra points or even zoom you straight to the next round.

Icons also float randomly about these levels hiding even more goodies. Speed, for instance, gives you a little boost for a period; the gun gives you 15 bullets: and so on. And when you've finished the first four levels, the later levels are not just dreary re-treads of the originals, but are each challenging, interesting and increasingly tricky in their own way.

And let's not forget Bobby Yazz. Every time you die, his face at the bottom of the screen will break out into a chuckle and throughout the game he hosts the show with his own inimitable brand of malicious bonhomie. There are even commercial breaks (with a couple of very droll jokes) to put you off in between rounds.

I must say, my heart sank when I first saw this. Yet another wacky idea attempting to attract the attention away from a terminally crap game, I thought, but I was wrong. It's enormous fun. I'm sure I've seen about 45,000,000 games like this before at one time or another, but what the 'eck? This one delivers, and it's a giggle to boot.

Chortle-a-minute puzzle game with some neat ideas and a very professional execution. Destiny's best game so far.

Marcus Berkmann

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