Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure logo

Accolade * £30.99 Joystick

Bill and Ted are totally radical, Californian surf-type dudes, who don't like getting wet. They've got a band, but they can't actually play the guitar. That's why they need that Eddie Van Halen dude, because once they get hold of him, they're gonna open for Iron Maiden - dudes!

The snag is Bill's Dad wants to send him to the military academy, which means no more band. Everything hangs on Bill passing his history exam, because if he fails, it's "att-ten-sion" time. A silly, ludicrous tale is about to be told, identical, in spirt, to the movie.

Wild Stallynz
Who can save them from this fate? Rufus can. A dude from the 25th century who wants to help them. Why? Well their band will one day save the universe from destruction. So he gives them a time-machine, shaped like a telephone box, which is excellent for their history revision.

The way to pass their exam is by stealing famous figures from the past and let them do the talking. The theory being dudes like Ghengis Khan, Joan of Arc and Billy the Kid, should easily adjust to the phenomenon of time travel.

It isn't as easy as it sounds though. The famous historical dudes don't want to come so you have to help Bill and Ted find an object that will tempt them back. Ghengis Khan, for example, is a sucker for Twinkie bars.

Once B and T have nabbed the famous dudes they have to take them back to the San Dimas' shopping mall. Once enough of them have been collected it's time to hit the history class.

The one time zone the payphone can't affect is San Dimas', so they must be swift. They need to get six dudes on the easy level and twelve on the ahrd level to complete their assignment. That's the adventure, can Bill and Ted gather the folks in time to save the Wild Stallynz (their band) as well as the world?

All the objects of Bill and Ted's desire are obvious. Each time zone contains one historical figure and one item to collect. The trick si leaping between the zones and uniting the right 'dude' with the right object.

The four levels vary in difficulty, increasing the stakes by adding more characters or linking the times in a more tenuous fashion. The objects required are always the same, as are the characters. Freud, for instance, always needs flowers to tempt him away from his mother. While they are not in the same location on the higher levels, the flowers still manage to do the trick. So by the fourth level you will have met all the characters and known the solution to all the puzzles, it is just you have to rush to bring the two together. First time round this is reasonably fun, later on it drags.

There are a couple of arcade sections involving simple jumps and dodging falling bombs. These could have formed an excellent foil to the slower-paced adventure element. The flip-screen scrolling is irritating, making the game dependent on luck as much as talent, because the characters are often flipped straight into unforeseen and unavoidable danger.

Samples from the movie add a righteous atmosphere, with Bill and Ted continually saying "excellent", "bogus" and other snippets. The music and sound effects are triumphant but the graphics are not nearly narly enough.

Bill and Ted could have been 'triumphant', as the movie has scope for a radical adventure game, but this is little more than a frantic scavenger hunt. The presentation is excellent, with a little telephone directory included in the box. This is no substitute, though, for the shallow and unchallenging gameplay. The puzzles are obvious and repetitive. For very young players, Bill and Ted is perfect, but for older dudes: it's bogus!

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure logo

The most bodacious computer licence ever reaches the AMiga (but bodacious it isn't).

Okay, first things first. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is based upon the minor cult film of the same name. If you aren't familiar with it then a) you are too old b) you are too boring and c) you are probably too intelligent to be reading this. Luckily I don't fit into any of these categories, and have been a long time fan of Bill & Ted (not least because of an enormous number of links it rejoices in with the world of rock music, which are far too convoluted to go into here).

The basic premise of the film (and indeed the game) is that Bill & Ted are two LA valley-dudes, who have formed a band called the Wyld Stallynz (with a view to recruiting Edward van Halen, but have run into problems at school. Unless they get an A+ for their history test, they'll be kicked out.

Enter Rufus, a totally cool, time-travelling dude (yes, this review is going to be brimming with corny LA-speak). Rufus informs them that the music of the Wyld Stallynz actually forms the basis for future civilisation, and that passing the history test is a pivotal point of our heroes.

Thus, they are given possession of a time travelling phone booth. (Well, what did you expect? A police box?), a directory of time zones to dial up and a mission to find lotsa dudes from various points in history, bring them back to school, and use them in a seminar to pass the exam. Simple, huh?

But what of the game itself? Ah, yes. It basically involves moving Bill & Ted around various time zones and trying to locate famous dudes, from Joan of Arc to Genghis Khan. Objects are littered around the place, which when given to various characters will cause them to follow you (it's not giving too much away to tell you that giving a fire extinguisher to the lightly toasted Joan of Arc will convince her to join you, for instance).

Then it's simply a matter of popping one or two of them into the phone booth, dropping them off at the local shopping mall back in the present day and going off in search of more dudes. Some situations aren't quite so straightforward, and involve weird sub-games including a 2D maze cum cat-and-mouse affair and even a (very) simplified Donkey Kong variant. Bill & Ted is nothing if not bizarre (dudes).

Right now that we've got the complicated waffly stuff outta the way, it's time for some bodacious analysis. After playing the game for fifteen minutes, something strange happened. I finished it.

I decided this was either down to my own excellence or something to do with playing the game at the lowest difficulty setting. However, after trying the harder levels, I can safely say it's still not exactly the most difficult game in the world - and quite frankly not the best either.

I've rarely seen a game design as simple as this one, and it doesn't help the program any in the longevity stakes. If anybody out there remembers the original Back To The Future game, they'll have a basic idea of what to expect (though Bill & Ted isn't nearly as bad).

Despite the sampled sound and cool references to the film, the whole thing feels quite tacky. Having said that, I actually enjoyed it. Sorry and everything, and I'm perfectly willing to admit that it's probably down to my love of the film, but it's fun. It's also undeniably very, very average. And sadly that's something a Bill & Ted game should never be. Excellent, yes. Bodacious, most surely. But never average.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure logo

Bill S. Preston and Ted (Theodore) Logan, high school party animals and self-confessed cool dudes are destined for great things. Namely, founding a religion and being idolised by future generations because of their most 'bodacious' Californian interpretation of both the English language and Heavy Metal music. However, this will never happen if they flunk high school. This looks very likely until Rufus, a messenger from the future, sent to save mankind appears giving them the chance to get an A+ grade by doing a 'most excellent' history presentation.

This involves bringing dead dudes like Socrates and Freud back from the past to present day San Dimas, to relate their own real life histories!

Equipped with a totally out of this world telephone booth, Bill and Ted have to dial historic dates and travel back to twelve different points in time to pick up the requisite number of dead dudes. This is either six or twelve, depending on the difficulty level.

Some dudes, like Napoleon will follow as soon as they are found, others need to be given appropriate objects, such as a fire extinguisher for Joan of Arc, before they will enter the Time Booth. These objects can be collected on various levels and stored for later use. Only two 'historical heavies' can be carried in the phone booth at any one time so you must return to San Dimas regularly to deposit them in the local shopping mail for safe keeping.

The graphics are colourful but poorly drawn except for some digitised screens from the movie. The duo are only represented as one inseparable sprite and, although the various historical characters are funny, there aren't very many. The best thing about the game is its use of sampled sound taken directly from the movie. If you get something right the guys exclaim, 'EXCELLENT' and if you get it wrong, 'BOGUS'.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is fatally let down by a lack of depth both in the overall game design and on each level. It took me just seven minutes to complete level one the first time I played it, and level four ('the most difficult') doesn't require much practice to get right either.

My advice is to spend a quid on renting the video first, then if you think it's the 'most excellent' comedy you've seen recently, and don't mind spending £24.99 on a game that only takes an hour or two to finish, I can recommend this most 'bodacious' piece of software.

SURF'S UP DUDES! Two guys travelling back in time to locale famous historical personalities may sound like a bad plot from the T.V. show Time Tunnel, but only the terminally uncool and those who haven't yet seen the cult American comedy could possibly hold such an opinion. Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure is a tongue in-cheek adolescent romp through time with two mind-blowing high school dudes from San Dimas, California. These guys use loads of adjectives like 'most bodacious' and 'bogus, dudes' so be warned, if you don't like Sunny State surfing slang don't read this review or, more importantly, DON'T WATCH THE MOVIE!