Bobby Is Going Home (Bit Corp.)
OOPS! I accidentally put this one in draft and left like that, this review originally came out July 28th 2018.
Bobby Is Going Home has go to be the most well known game from Bit Corp. This is a very strange game, both in premise and in practice, this game is a basic Pitfall! clone, it shares many aspects with Pitfall! I will go into further depth later on in the review, but let me just say these this could be the unofficial sequel to Pitfall! it's so similar. I happened upon this game on Ebay, as per usual. I'd been searching for a while for an NTSC version of this game so I could both play and review it, and I got real lucky. Somebody had listed a Star Game version of Bobby is going home, the listing said it was rare but it seems nobody really knows with these South American games, it was extremely cheap and the only NTSC version that I'd seen for a long while, (That wasn't extremely overpriced at least). If I may add... The Star Game cartridge is a Parker Bros. style with Jul 86 engraved on the top back of the cart, I think that means this game was assembled in 1986, I don't know when it was sold but that's still fairly late for a 2600 title. If anybody knows anything about the sales period of the 2600 in South America, Brazil especially, I would be quite grateful, since I know very little about the South American game market back in the 1980's and I'd like to get educated. Enough about me... what about the game!?
This game looks good... In fact the first time I booted it up on an emulator I was shocked by the graphics. The backgrounds are quite nice to look at, and are very complex. There is a lot of movement on the screen, you have clouds blowing by, sailboats in the distance, and there is a bird flying around near the top of the screen, and the enemies also liven up the mix. There are obstacles like fire hydrants and fountains, and flowers to hop over. There are also flying enemies like, bats, birds, and gigantic mutant killer butterflies that breath fire and eat the flesh of small children named Bobby. All of the sprites apart from Bobby and a couple of the obstacles are monochrome, which is a bit disappointing since so much effort was put into the other graphics. But there is a caveat to all of this originality, and that is an overabundance of palette swaps. There are a total of 256 screens in this game, just like in Pitfall!, but instead of having many different obstacles and layouts to the screens, Bobby Is Going Home has a grand total of five unique screens and 251 palette swapped versions of those same five screens, and some of the colors are just plain disgusting. Unfortunately, despite how good they looked at the beginning, the visuals overstay their welcome quite quickly and soon become an eyesore.
The sounds... Well... They're decent is not a little repetitive. Apparently the song that is playing in the background is "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", now that's just plain weird. At least it's a decent a decent rendition of the song, a bit samey bit still catchy and the 'instruments' used aren't too ear bleeding. The sound you hear when you collide with an obstacle or an enemy sounds quite akin to a fart, and the jumping sound effect is a cute little arpeggio which is quite annoying to listen too. There is a second musical piece which you hear once to get the titular Bobby to the titular Home... It's okay, nothing too special, and nothing particularly noteworthy.
This game play's like Pitfall! on Ambien, you move incredibly slowly past incredibly ineffective enemies, with the exception of one. This game has four kinds of 'enemies': Stationary obstacles, flying enemies, rolling things (Pitfall! barrels which come in twos and threes), and those stupid collapsing bridges. The nice thing about most of the enemies is that they're also off their face on narcotics because they also move incredibly slowly, again with the exception of one, the one being the collapsing bridges... You will likely lose all of your lives on this one obstacle, unless you get the timing down perfectly, and make a leap of faith. Almost all obstacles are made redundant with the inclusion of the one thing I actually really like about this game, and that is the ability to control your movements mid-jump, allowing for many second chances where in Pitfall! you'd be down a life, this is cool, I wish it was in Pitfall! though, not this mess of a game.
This is one of those oddities that you often hear whispered about you see screenshots and your hopes are raised, you hear rumors of carts floating around online, and when you finally get one you realize that that's all this game should be... Conversation, rumor, vague whispering. Because this game sucks, there is no way of sugarcoating it, it's a nice shiny turd to put in your collection. Speaking of collections, this game gets hurled deep into the Collector's Zone, casual players need not apply for this one, only the collectors whose cores are the hardest should even bother trying to find this game.