Bignose the Caveman logo

Codemasters £7.99

Not every game that comes from the Codemasters stables is a classic, and some are even quite poor, but one thing I like about the Codies is the fact that they have their feet on the ground. They know their market, the games they like to play, and the price they can afford to pay, and they cater to this. Bigman the Caveman is familiar territory for platform fans.

The large conked one and his mates are looking forward to a slap-up Thanksgiving fest, but unfortunately they seem to be experiencing a few problems in the culinary quantity department, in that they have bugger all to eat.

Undeterred, Bignose picks up his trusty club and sets off in search of some grub in the form of a large and tasty looking pterodactyl which inhabits the other side of the island.

Needless to say it won't be a cakewalk - there are loads of creatures on several levels to bludgeon before you reach the goal. Bones and rocks can be collected as power ups, and there are one or two secret zones to discover as well.

Graphics are colourful and clear, sound isn't too bad, and although Bignose The Caveman is far from a gaming breakthrough, it's got enough to keep the younger players happy for a good while.

Bignose the Caveman logo

CDS * £7.99

Aha! At last a game is released which has outsize olfactory regions as its main theme. Fans of Karl Malden will be really happy, because they now have another possible role model in the shape of Bignose, the star of the game.
Unfortunately, though, the game is only likely to appeal to the younger generation (who probably won't even know who Mr Malden is anyway). Still, that's life, eh?

Bignose the Caveman is a game of the usual scrolly-runabout-collect-goodies-kill-baddies genre, but unfortunately it's nothing special. As you would expect the characters are cute and quite large, the music is quite jolly, as are the sound effects, but the gameplay is sadly lacking.

There are plenty of creatures to bash over the head with your club, ranging in size from snakes to dinosaurs, so it's exciting from that point of view. Along the way there are other objects either to collect or bash, and small rocks to pick up which you can use to knock out the larger enemies (such as the brontosaurus in the picture).

Sometimes it can get a bit annoying, though. For a start it's all too easy to mistime your bash, and end up dead yourself. Jumping over holes is also difficult, because if you jump too near the hole you will end up plunging to your death - and with only three lives, this isn't funny.

OK, it's fun for a short while, and it's more than likely to keep your kiddies amused (and quiet) for a few weeks. And it's only eight quid. Nuff said.

Große Nase, nichts dahinter?

Bignose the Caveman logo

Die gute, uralte Zeit ist ja ein beliebtes Hintergrundszenario für Plattformgames - kein Wunder, wenn nun auch die Codemasters mal in der Prähistorik vorbeihüpften...

Wegen des herannahenden Erntedankfest macht sich der dicknasige Held samt seiner Keule auf, um den größten je gesehenen "Pterodaktylus" zu erlegen.

Auf der Jagd nach dem Festtagsbraten steuert man Bignose (per Joystick oder Tastatur) unter Zeitdruck durch die von rechts nach links scrollenden Dschungel-, Sumpf-, oder Vulkanlandschaften und verteidigt seine drei Bildschirmleben gegen anstürmende Saurier, Schlangen, Spinnen, Wespen und Fledermäuse.

Treffer bringen dabei außer Punkten manchmal auch Knochen-Boni, die unserem Zwerg Nase in genügender Anzahl Endgegner erschütterndes ermöglichen. Außerdem kann er mit seiner Keule Felsßbrocken zerdeppern, um so zusätzliche Stein-Munition zu gelangen. Das relativ simple Design der Spiellandschaften wird durch versteckte "Level-Warps" aufgepeppt, wobei man den Abschnitt, dem Großnase gerade entfleucht, kurz "im Vorbeifliegen" sieht.

Die Cartoon-Grafik ist nur spärlich animiert, jedoch putzig anzuschauen, zudem wird zwischen den einzelnen Leveln eine Übersichtskarte der Steinzeit-Insel eingeblendet.

Soundeffekte sind ziemlich dünn gesät. Musik gibt's bloß zur Begrüßung. Aber dank der niedrigen Schwierigkeitsgrades und der fairen Steuerung kommen hier wenigstens Anfänger schnell zu Erfolgserlebnissen - auch wenn sich der Held bei uns nicht ducken wollte, wie in der Anleitung versprochen.

Fazit: Bignose ist zwar längst nicht so sagenhaft wie sein mythischer Kollege Bigfoot, aber ein grundsolider Neandertaler mit akzeptablen Preisvorstellungen. (ms)

Bignose the Caveman logo

At first sight this budget release from the Codies looks like a poor man's Chuck Rock, and after playing it for a while you realise that's because it is a poor man's Chuck Rock. But that's not necessarily a bad thing if you get some good gameplay for your eight quid (and let's face it, with some games putting you back up to £40 in the middle of a recession, there's more incentive than ever to look to the budget section for your games). So, let's give it a fair old try.

I have to admit that on loading this game my first thoughts were "What a turkey". It looks and feels like an 8-bit console game - you know the sort of thing by now, keep walking right hitting things and jumping over dangerous chasms, and in this sense it's incredible linear.

At the start of the game, your trusty club is the only weapon that you have to dispense baddies with, but there are rocks on the way which you can pick up and from then on you have stone-throwing capabilities. That is until you get hit by a baddie, at which point you're back to your club again.

There are also bones to pick up which give you 'bone-us' points (their joke, not mine), and other pick-ups in the shape of large rocks on the ground, which can be smashed for goodies or booby prizes.

Well, it's hardly breaking new ground then, but despite my initial misgivings, it's not all that bad. It's actually quite addictive, mainly due to the very simplicity which at first seems to make it inferior. There's always that feeling that you could get a bit further if only you stuck with it, and consequently time passes and you find you've been enjoying this game for quite some time.

Having said that, it's not the kind of game to get you massively involved. There's not much depth to the gameplay, and at some point I reckon you're going to get bored with the concept and put it down.

It's not too big either, so even if you do stick with it I shouldn't think it'd take you that long to finish, and when you have you won't come back to it again. But then, hey, it's eight quid, it's enjoyable enough, and I guess that might be just enough to make it a worthwhile purchase. A mild diversion rather than a serious distraction.