Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 09/05/13

Yogi's Deadly Sin

I’ll admit that I mostly got this game for its nightmarish box art. It’s like the hand of a demon is pulling all of these cartoon characters out of Candyland and into the bottom of the ocean. Needless to say, the game itself is nowhere near as good as that box art. Licensed games are usually pretty bad, especially if it’s based on a cartoon character that was losing relevance and becoming more of the butt of jokes than an actual beloved character. It was very clear that by 1990, Yogi Bear was no longer about stealing picnic baskets and was really about whatever lunacy cartoon characters get into when they start to lose it.

Story- Yogi Bear and his friends were in a land of candy when The Greed Monster appeared. The Greed Monster was a monster made out of pure greed that locked Yogi and his friends away on an evil island made out of candy. Yogi managed to escape and now must free all of his friends from the clutches of The Greed Monster.

So, what exactly is Yogi Bear usually about? He tries to outsmart a park ranger and steal picnic baskets. There is nothing in there about going to some kind of crazy candy island made of candy and fighting a monster made out of pure greed. It’s like a drug trip, or a fever dream, or something, but it certainly isn’t normal for Yogi Bear.

Presentation- For a ZX Spectrum game, Yogi Bear and Friends In The Greed Monster actually looks pretty good. Everything is fully colored, sprites have a fair amount of animation to them, there’s actual music on the title screen, and scrolling from one screen to another is surprisingly smooth. Some of the enemies and items don’t stand out enough and you might accidentally miss them or walk right into them, but this is a very minor flaw that does not amount to anything.

Gameplay- Yogi Bear and Friends plays a lot like Legend of Zelda. You play as Yogi Bear move around on a map and try to avoid enemies. You collect stuff and find keys to unlock treasure chests. The whole point of the game is to keep collecting stuff until the game is over. Unlike Zelda, exploration is not very easy for a lot of reasons and the game ultimately comes off as more frustrating than fun.

The first problem is the controls. You move up and down with the Q and A keys. You move left and right with the O and P keys. It’s unintuitive and could have used some controls that could be configured. Then again, this was a game that came on a cassette tape, so maybe there was not enough room for this. Then again, a lot of Spectrum games did come with flexible control configurations, so there really should have been some way to get around the wonky controls.

Yogi’s sprite is also way too big. Good luck trying to avoid anything. You don’t get an attack button either, so simply clearing away enemies instead of avoiding them is not an option. Not only that, but when enemies hit Yogi, they just sort of get stuck to him and keep sapping his health bar until you get off. It’s irritating because every enemy has the potential to take out more than half of your health bar in a matter of seconds if you are not careful. Oh, and don’t expect anything cool if you manage to make it to the end of this grueling and frustrating mess. Remember, it’s a cassette tape game. Those things typically had very low memory capacity.

Cool Fact- This was actually based on an episode of Yogi’s Treasure Hunt. This game also had a superior Amiga version.

Strange Thought- This game is all about making Yogi Bear steal stuff off of the ground. Would that not make him the real Greed Monster?

Also Try- Rex is a much better ZX Spectrum game. It has similar exploration based gameplay and doesn’t look like a bad Legend of Zelda.

Rating: 4

Product Release: Yogi Bear & Friends in the Greed Monster (EU, 12/31/90)

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