ZX Spectrum Bobby Bearing
Ball and marble games were all the rage for a while (look at the arcade classic Marble Madness) and Bobby Bearing by The Edge was a pretty cool game.
It was released in the summer of 1986 for the ZX Spectrum and turned out to be a pretty big hit - and as clones of 'marble madness' go this one wasn't bad.
The inevitable back story to Bobby Bearing went along the lines of...
Bobby’s family lived in Technofear - a land of the future made from steel and inhabitated by things of steel. Bobby and his brothers had been warned on many occasions not to venture into the Metaplanes outside their home, and generally they had been pretty good about it. One day their maverick cousin paid them all a visit - and he led them on an adventure into the metaplanes...
Now Bobby had to venture into the dangerous metaplanes and rescue his brothers (one at a time) from the evil beings that lived there. Once the four brothers had been brought back to safe haven the cousin could be rescued (not that he deserved it!)
This classic game boasted a neat graphical engine called 'Curvispace 3D' - which allowed the games characters (Bearings) to actually roll over uneven surfaces with realistic physics.
It was a case of solving puzzles and routes, some easy, some fiendish, some almost impossible.
You began the game outside your 'home' - and your brother bearings had to be brought back here. As you travelled around the large flick screen playing area (arcade adventure style) you would come across magnets which could be switched on and off, areas of the surfaces with hidden switches and air ducts. Some hidden switches activated lifts and platforms etc.
This puzzle game was played against the clock which would increase in countdown speed as you hit various obstacles. Apart from the evil bearings you also had to watch out for slabs of concrete which would crash down on top of you and descending blocks sent our Bobby into a spin.
Falling off a ledge also caused the countdown clock to speed up - the game could be frustrating (but in a good way).
This arcade puzzle game was compared to the likes of Spindizzy and Marble Madness (as you would expect) when it was released in the summer of 1986. Gamers enjoyed the ballbearing physics, puzzles and locations to explore. For anyone who liked games of this ilk, Bobby was an essential purchase.
The test of time:
Well it's a little dated but it's still not bad! As the game never relied on graphics or fancy garnish - it's still got a decent amount of playability. As far as this type of game goes, Bobby Bearing was one of the best on the Spectrum. Nice scrolling message whilst loading too.
Give it a go. Patience is worth it in this game.
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair ZX Spectrum hardware, but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Bobby Bearing. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other ZX Spectrum retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade puzzle game
RELEASE DATE: August of 1986
RELEASED BY: The Edge
DEVELOPER(S): Robert and Trevor Figgins
Bobby gets his Bearings in a classic arcade game:
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