The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling

a game by Southpeak Interactive, and Adrenalin Interactive, Inc.
Platforms: PC, Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 6.2/10, based on 3 reviews
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Flintstones, Bowling Games
The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling
The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling
The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling
The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling

Weird. That's one way to describe this release (crap would be another) and it gets surreal the moment you put the CD into your PC. Despite the fact that the full install is only 180Mb, Flintslones Bowling takes what feels like a few hours to install, and while the progress bar slowly fills up you're treated to a tune. Not the Flintstones tune though, but something that sounds like a hippy drum-in at the Womad festival.

Once it's installed you're presented with the money shot. Because Flintstones Bedrock Bowling isn't a bowling game at all, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead you have to guide your favourite character down a number of toboggan runs, picking up crystals and knocking over pins. This continues until sleep comes a-knocking. The only controls you have to worry about are the four directions. That's it And on one of the levels you don't even have to worry about that because the path is so narrow you automatically pick everything up anyway. You can switch to the hard level and lose the invisible barriers, but why bother?

Ubi Soft might point out that this release is aimed at kids, but that's no excuse for a shoddy piece of garbage like this. Anyone over the age of six is going to see through this before it's finished installing. Anyone younger is going to be far better off with one of the many game/educational titles that are on the shelves of every high-street shop.

What's worse, the packaging doesn't give any indication that anyone who can crawl is going to be too old for the game. It's plastered all over the new releases section at our local EB shop and from the box it looks just like a 3D platform game. It's not. It's a bad joke.

Download The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

Bedrock Bowling has an extremely brief and familiar storyline. Fred is anxious to leave work because he’s supposed to be meeting Barney for bowling practice. Right on schedule the whistle sounds, but as Fred is making his run for the exit Mr. Slate steps in. It seems Fred isn’t going to make bowling tonight – if he doesn’t finish that trench by morning, he’s fired. (Nothing new here either – Barney even comments that this is the third time this week Fred will be fired, and it’s only Tuesday.) It looks like our heroes are stuck.

Who shows up to help solve this conundrum? The Great Gazoo – that stupid green alien guy who did for The Flintstones what Scrappy-Doo did for Fred, Velma, Shaggy, Scooby and Daphne. Of course, the Gazoo can’t just dig the trench for Fred with his mystical powers – he has to re-invent bowling in the process.

Gameplay

To start the game, players select Fred, Barney, Bamm-Bamm, Pebbles or Dino. Selecting your character is vitally important – not because it makes any difference in gameplay, but because it determines which endless round of inane comments you’ll be forced into hearing throughout the game. (I’d recommend choosing Dino or Pebbles – at least they’re pretty much non-verbal.) After you’ve selected your character, you’re off on the first course.

Welcome to the toboggan ride of boredom! In this "bowling" game, the straight alleys and neatly ordered pins have been replaced with a twisting obstacle course filled with explosives, angry dinosaurs and randomly scattered targets. And there’s no ball – the characters ride down each course in a giant half sphere. You have no idea how many times I wished those things would just tip over and smear Barney across the scenery. There are ten bowling pins in each course, but there are also other targets – mainly gems and birds – that will open up special bonus courses, add points to your score, etc. The birds are particularly important, as there are two finish lines on each course and you can only play the second half if you’ve managed to collect all three birds from the first.

If these courses were challenging it would have done wonders for the game – but they really aren’t. Even at the hardest setting it’s a very simple matter to collect the birds and hit all ten pins on most courses; in the cases where it’s not too easy, it’s usually overly difficult. The controls are easy to use, but have some quirks. Most annoying is the fact that the vibration commands are sent to all connected controllers rather than just the current player’s controller. When the second controller started bouncing around on the floor while I was playing with the first, it was just plain stupid.

Graphics

Bedrock Bowling has it all – drab textures, jerky camera movement and crappy animation. I have seen plenty of games that have done a good job placing cartoon characters in a 3D space, but this simply isn’t one of them. Even the pre-rendered clips have problems – parts of the characters appear and disappear, and the 3D models are awful. I didn’t expect stunning eye candy, but I certainly hoped for adequacy.

Audio

I used to watch The Flintstones all the time when I was younger, and I know what the characters are supposed to sound like. With the exception of Gazoo, played by the same voice actor as in the cartoon, the voice acting in Bedrock Bowling is close, but not quite close enough. I could forgive that if there was at least some variety in the voice clips, but after the hundredth time hearing the same stupid comment I was ready to throw this one out the window. Add the unbalanced sound effects to the mix, and you end up with an audio mish-mash rivaling any of the toys grandparents buy for their grandkids to inflict retribution on their children.

Bottom Line

Bedrock Bowling is billed as enjoyable for all ages, but most adults are going to find this game far too easy. It is simple enough that younger kids will be able to pick it up and play right away, but I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be bored within a half hour. Add sub-par graphics and repetitive audio, and you have a game better left in its soon-to-be-native habitat – the bottom of the bargain bin.

Overview

Bedrock Bowling has an extremely brief and familiar storyline. Fred is anxious to leave workbecause he's supposed to be meeting Barney for bowling practice. Right on schedule the whistle sounds, but asFred is making his run for the exit Mr. Slate steps in. It seems Fred isn't going to make bowlingtonight ' if he doesn't finish that trench by morning, he's fired. (Nothing newhere either ' Barney even comments that this is the third time this week Fredwill be fired, and it's only Tuesday.) It looks like our heroes are stuck.

Who shows up to help solve this conundrum? The Great Gazoo ' that stupid greenalien guy who did for The Flintstones what Scrappy-Doo did for Fred, Velma, Shaggy, Scooby and Daphne. Of course, the Gazoo can't just dig the trench for Fredwith his mystical powers ' he has to re-invent bowling in the process.

Gameplay

To start the game, players select Fred, Barney, Bamm-Bamm, Pebbles or Dino. Selecting your character is vitally important ' not because it makes any differencein gameplay, but because it determines which endless round of inane comments you'llbe forced into hearing throughout the game. (I'd recommend choosing Dino or Pebbles ' atleast they're pretty much non-verbal.) After you've selected your character, you're offon the first course.

Welcome to the toboggan ride of boredom! In this "bowling" game, the straight alleysand neatly ordered pins have been replaced with a twisting obstacle coursefilled with explosives, angry dinosaurs and randomly scattered targets. Andthere's no ball ' the characters ride down each course in a giant halfsphere. You have no idea how many times I wished those things would just tip overand smear Barney across the scenery. There are ten bowling pins ineach course, but there are also other targets ' mainly gems and birds ' thatwill open up special bonus courses, add points to your score, etc. The birdsare particularly important, as there are two finish lines on each course andyou can only play the second half if you've managed to collect all three birdsfrom the first.

If these courses were challenging it would have done wonders for the game ' but theyreally aren't. Even at the hardest setting it's a very simple matter to collect the birdsand hit all ten pins on most courses; in the cases where it's not too easy, it's usuallyoverly difficult. The controls are easy to use, but have some quirks. Most annoying isthe fact that the vibration commands are sent to all connected controllers rather thanjust the current player's controller. When the second controller started bouncingaround on the floor while I was playing with the first, it was just plain stupid.

Graphics

Bedrock Bowling has it all ' drab textures, jerky camera movement andcrappy animation. I have seen plenty of games that have done a good job placingcartoon characters in a 3D space, but this simply isn't one of them. Even thepre-rendered clips have problems ' parts of the characters appear and disappear, andthe 3D models are awful. I didn't expect stunning eye candy, but I certainly hoped for adequacy.

Audio

I used to watch The Flintstones all the time when I was younger, and I know what the characters are supposed to sound like. With the exception of Gazoo, played by the same voice actor as in the cartoon, the voice acting in BedrockBowling is close, but not quite close enough. I could forgive that if therewas at least some variety in the voice clips, but after the hundredth timehearing the same stupid comment I was ready to throw this one out thewindow. Add the unbalanced sound effects to the mix, and you end up withan audio mish-mash rivaling any of the toys grandparents buy for their grandkidsto inflict retribution on their children.

Bottom Line

Bedrock Bowling is billed as enjoyable for all ages, but mostadults are going to find this game far too easy. It is simple enough thatyounger kids will be able to pick it up and play right away, but I can prettymuch guarantee they'll be bored within a half hour. Add sub-par graphics andrepetitive audio, and you have a game better left in its soon-to-be-nativehabitat ' the bottom of the bargain bin.

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PC Screenshots

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