Review by Al Giovetti, 04/01/97 (Preview on 09/15/96)
History: Has this one died yet? Baldies has been floating around from place to place. First with Atari and then with GameTek, now again resurected (once more - Ed.) with Panasonic Interactive Media. The product finally released for Windows 95 and DOS on CD ROM. Unfortunately, the game appears to have been too little too late.
Plot: Little bald, fat (some prefer the term "pudgy" - Ed.) guys fight guys with hair, called "Hairies." The baldies must rid their land of their fuzzy counterparts. Baldies does not take itself too seriously and has a good sense of humor. Combinations of the word bald with other words makes up their vocabulary. For example, when winning a level "Baldtastic, You Made It" appears in bold letters across the screen.
Gameplay: Humorous, demented-action strategy game featuring follically-challenged "Baldies." With over 80 (was to be 100) levels, 15 special weapons, and five 3D worlds. Each world has its own special graphics and environmental theme, including ice, grass, desert, and volcano . Baldies offers an extended gameplay experience that fuses the elements of Dune2, Populous, SIM Ant and Lemmings.
Levels and worlds: There are over 100 different levels on 5 worlds. Hidden areas make the worlds more interesting.
Missions and Scenarios: Each level starts with some strucutures and a few of the bald ones. Baldies reproduce into more baldies and they can be divided by the player into proportions of four categories: scientists, workers, builders and soldiers. Like most strategy games following in Dune 2's sand prints, the baldies build structures, mine resources, research upgrades, and fight battles.
Like populous the little baldies congregate around the shield icon which is placed upon the map. Unlike Populous, the shield icon has a very small sphere of influence requiring much time and patience to move numbers of baldies to the shield location. Another problem is the inability to control individual soldiers which has not been balanced, like populous, to work with the system.
Characters can be picked up and moved one at a time, but even when moved to the enemy stronghold they refuse to attack structures or enemy characters. The Baldies simply wander around being cute. This is the most frustrating part of the game. There are times when you think the level will never finish.
Graphics: Expect a lot of pixelation and blockyness in 320 x 200 pixel mode.
Animation: The little bald guys move with none of the slick animation we are used to in low resolution mode, but have a good sense of humor. Planting a bomb will shower the screen with body parts. Nice touch.
Utilities: The Windows 95 version requires a DirectX patch from the Baldies Web Site at www.baldies.com. Documentation on how to play is sparse and the game play itself is not very intuitive.
Multiplayer capabilities: Baldies supports four player multiplayer over IPX network.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
Hints, Cheats, and Walkthroughs: Get those Baldies reproducing other Baldies as quickly as possible and overwhelm your opponent with sheer numbers.