buglogo.gif - 10.7 K Banzai Bug!
By Al Giovetti
Price:$40 - $45
Genre: Zany Insect Flight Simulator
Release: October 1996
Developer: Gravity
Publisher: Grolier Interactive
Phone: 203-797-3530, 800.285.4534
Website: www.grolier.com
Requirements: Pentium, 90 MHz, Windows 95, 1 MB RAM SVGA graphics, 2X CD ROM, 8 MB RAM, 20 MB hard disk drive space.

Plot: Banzai, the game's hero, leads numerous perilous, yet hilarious, missions to every room of the house. Banzai is trapped in an inventor and exterminator's house with the exterminator's wife who sports deadly bug spray, and Bobby, the exterminator's three year old son, who is just aching to experiment on your little body, if he ever gets the chance. You must cooperate with the other bugs to get rid of the machines invented by the exterminator and somehow get the humans out of the house and save the day for the bugs. bugbody.gif - 9.4 K

The goal: collect the materials needed to complete a secret weapon that will drive the humans from their house. Succeed and you "get the girl" and take over the house. But there's a surprise twist at the end of the game!

Comments: "This one is off the wall." Major Doug "Bull Dog" Call. "Bad to the Drone!" and "The Pest is Yet to Come." Grolier Public Relations Official. "Some of these comments are not to be believed", Al Giovetti, Host, The Computer Show. bugtoil.gif - 18.0 K

Company line: A Flight-Sim for Novices and Aces alike! Beneath the animated exoskeleton of Banzai Bug beats the heart of a joystick-wrenching, pheromone- pumping, action-packed flight-sim. designed for all you gamers with better things to do than memorize a tech manual the size of a calculus book, Banzai Bug weaves a humorous story-line and wise cracking dialogue seamlessly into the aerial action. Lead Banzai on a mission to drive the bug-phobic humans out of the house forever. Banzai Bug will be flying off your local software retailer's shelf soon.

Game play: The bug can be flown up, down, right, left and forward with a behind the bug view. The bug cannot go backward, but he can hover for some real interesting action. The combat comes from devices created by the inventor exterminator. Anti bug zapping artillery (ABZA) will try to swat you from the ground, while miniature mechanical airborn robot bug exterminators engage you in air to bug combat. Banzai accumulates zaps which allow him to fire an electric charge or simply spits out enemies with his unending supply of bug spittle. Humans only can be taken out by the "stinkalator" so Banzai must avoid the humans to survive.

The game is something like a graphic animated adventure with the action game thrown in. You must get five matches in the first room of the house and cheese from the next room. These inventory items are used later in the game to construct the "stinkulator" which makes a big stink and drives the "biggies" out of the house.

The bad thing about the game is that there is very little to do and once you have done it they make you do it over and over again. The game designers should have found other more interesting things for the bug to do. There is no excuse for repetition because it becomes boring, quickly.

Graphics: Ultra weird fully rendered three dimensional backgrounds and characters. There is a three year old child in this game with a head that looks like two plates stuck together. The interior of the house is "reminiscent of the 1950's view of the future." Mom wears a white apron an Bobby has a missing tooth and clothes that are just a bit too small for his cherubic (read as fat. - Ed.) frame.

Animation: The animation is very smooth and some of the animation is very classic and well worth the price of admission. Cut scene movies that look very much like the interactive animated flying scenes are added into the game where Banzai communicates with the other bugs in the house to plan the departure of the humans and collects the inventory items needed. Banzai flies under a chair or table and can land on any object but watch out for the bug spray and other obsticles.

Music: is jazzy and hip, sort-of retro 50's music.

Utilities: Banzai Bug! does not recognize Verite', 3Dfx, or a millennium card, including a Rendition based 3D Blaster video card. The game is driven by DirectX 3D.

Features: Eight levels, bug-phobic human adversaries, and scores of ground-based and airborne bogies.

Multiplayer: Unfortunately, we cannot fly multiplayer bug fights or cooperate with other human controlled bugs to drive out the humans.

Journalists: Gary says other than the eventually boring game play this game had the potential to become a real classic game.

Please send us your review or preview text by email to publish right here.

Grolier Banzai Bug Web Site
Jeffrey Tschiltsch, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 11, April, 1997, pg. 54, 80%.
Alan Smithee, Boot, volume 2, number 8, April, 1997, pg. 102, 60%.
Scott A. May, Computer Gaming World, issue 154, May, 1997, 70%.
Gary Whitta, PC Gamer, volume 4, number 5, May, 1997, 56%.
Steve Bauman, Computer Games, issue 78, May, 1997, 75%.

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