Author: Geoff Bains
Publisher: Addictive Games
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Beebug #35


Boffin is the second release for the BBC Micro from Addictive Games and seems set to follow Football Manager as a chart topper. The boffin of the title is a cute little mad professor armed only with an umbrella and an insatiable desire to wipe out horseshoes and collect pieces of laboratory apparatus. The horseshoes and the bits of glassware are scattered around the inevitable caverns. You must guide your boffin around the caverns, destroying the unlucky horseshoes and picking up bonuses in the form of the apparatus.

The caverns are filled with the usual array of platforms, barbed wire, perilous drops and trampolines. The latter are especially effective, giving a beautiful boing noise and actually flexing when they're jumped on. The umbrella is not just carried for show. It will stop the professor's fall and can even be used to pick up the objects.

Also in the cavens, however, is a superb assortment of suitably evil creatures - gigantic spiders, giant puffers, manta bats, etc. The movement of the spider is excellent, given the size of it, and the game is better than most when considering playability. The collision detectionis very good too. You don't die when you are still inches away from your foe as happens in many other games. This is especially important with the spider as you have to get pretty close to that, at times, to win.

There is a high score table which records the number of the game currently being played and the game comes in two versions. Boffin I is Beeb only (B and B+) and boasts 45 caverns. Boffin II has only (only!) 25 caverns but it is compatible with both the Beeb and Electron.

Overall, the graphics are good, fast and smooth and the whole theme makes it very enjoyable. The mad professor with his umbrella is a great idea, and as an example of the Manic Miner type of caverns game, Boffin shows a wonderful sense of humour and is strongly recommended.

Geoff Bains

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