Bump 'n' Burn logo

Bump 'n' Burn is a game about driving odd vehicles against even odder opponents in a mythical land called Toonia. It's a game where the gloves come off and the Highway Code is tossed out of the window; it's a game where the only rule is that there are no rules.

You're out to beat Count Chaos, the undefeated Bump 'n' Burn champion, who competes in the dastardly Skull Crusher Special. Other drivers whom you can choose to represent include Loretta Lamour, a positively Penelope Pitstopian petal, an eskimo, a pair of beavers, dinosaurs and... well, you get the scenario. If this were a Seventies cartoon, it wouldn't be called Hong Kong Phooey.

But Bump 'n' Burn is not simply about getting from pole to chequered flag in the shortest space of time (oh allr ight, it is, but I've got to discuss the other bits in between and tell you that 'pick-ups abound', after a recent directive from the Games Reviewers Overused Phrases Society).

No matter which character you decide upon. All the others are pulling every trick in the book to ensure that they get to the line first. And these include dropping oil slicks, smoke screen and mines; the cars shoot missiles and bones and yes, it's all completely daft.

Fortunately, colliding with these obstacles doesn't knock you out of the race altogether - it just slows you up; and of course, whatever they can do, you can return the compliment, providing you gather the necessaries along the way. Coins litter the track and when collected can be used at an upgrade shop to by add-ons for your motor.

But despite the aforementioned fineries, Bump 'n' Burn essentially adheres to the tried and tested Lotus/Crazy Cars format - the scrolling is smooth and the control of the car pointed. The tracks purport to be varied, yet mainly, there isn't much difference between them.

The themed raceways do have some nice touches and each competitor thrives on a different circuit. Count Chaos loves the Interstellar Interstage; witness a UFO swooping down and scooping you off the track, losing you valuable seconds in the process. And check out the divebombing fighter planes on Colonel Carnage's home circuit, the swinging log cranes in the forest and the freaky ghosts in the spooky Haunted Graveyard.

The main problem with Bump 'n' Burn is that despite all the wacky competitors on the track, you often feel you're racing on your own. You can rattle along for ages without seeing another should, which can be most disconcerting - and very dull at times. The idea behind it all is nice, but it doesn't work well enough to take Bump 'n' Burn into the pantheon of Amiga racing games.

Bump 'n' Burn logo

Wenn man keine neuen hat, dann sind die alten Spielideen automatisch die besten, stimmt's? Und die zu diesem 3D-Rennen ist stein-alt, handelt es sich dabei doch schlicht um eine Art Comic-Remake von "Buggy Boy".

In Grandslams Variante darf man also weder die sieben verrückten Vehikel noch deren Piloten sonderlich ernst nehmen, denn hier kämpfen Gestalten wie die Dodgy Dinos, Eric der Eskimo oder die kapriziöse Loretta Lamour um den Siegespokal. Um ihn in die Finger zu kriegen, sind sieben Rennen zu fahren, in denen die Fairneß stets der Verlierer ist...

Anders gesagt: Auf der Strecke herumliegende Sterne verwandeln sich nach dem Aufsammeln umgehend in Raketen, Minen, Öllachen oder ähnliches Hilfsmittel, um die Konkurrenz auszuschalten.

Für ausgleichende Gerechtigkeit sorgen indessen Naturkatastrophen wie über den Kurs kullernde Schneekugeln, Schlammpfützen und hyperaktive Haartrockner, die allen Boliden das Leben gleich schwer machen - jeder Kontakt kostet den Piloten Zeit und den Wagen Kraft.

Um dennoch den zur Qualifikation für das nächste Rennen erforderlichen dritten Platz zu erreichen, haben die Programmierer auf den Strecken etwas Geld verstreut, das in eingesammelter Form für bessere Motoren, eine Panzerung oder neue Reifen gut ist.

Für Notfälle gibt es drei Continues und für gesellige Driver eine Duell-Option am Splitscreen; ansonsten aber wenig Spektakuläres: 3D-Grafik haben wir vor Jahren schon hübschere gesehen, und Musik bietet nur der Titel: während der Rennen müssen Rumpel-FX genügen.

Auch die Steuerung ist eher schwammig, vor allem das Auslösen der Waffen zerrt an den Nerven. Aber vielleicht kann man für knapp 70 Mäuse auch nicht viel mehr erwarten? (mic.)

Bump 'n' Burn logo

This just escaped having its name changed to 'Bumpy Burn'. Future-'n'-games won't be so fortunate.

Oh no. Not again. Bump 'n' Burn (or Bed and Breakfast as it's known due to those ghastly apostrophes) is going to get yet another of those ("Forthright" - Ed) reviews that puts AP at odds with the whole of the computer game industry. You've got to ask yourself: why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why do we do it? It would be easier to submit to external and internal pressures and just say: "("Dash" - Ed) it, here's 87 per cent, thank you very much, shake hands and we can have some lemonade and a chat about it in the caff after work."

After all, it's not as if there's anything intrinsically at fault with the game. It's a cutesy, competent(ish), technically proficient racing game, recognisably influenced by Lotus Turbo Esprit and embarrassingly obviously plagiarising Super Mario Kart and the cartoon Wacky Races. Great idea, eh? I sincerely wish it had worked.

Probably the easiest way to explain why the game fails is to hold up the shining examples of each in the games it's emulating in turn.

First, Mario Kart. It's structurally identical to B&B: you race against 'personality' opponents and zap them with 'personality' weapons. The graphics and courses of Mario Kart have been cleverly designed so you're always in the thick of the pack (the short tracks mean that you'll lap back markers and so still have people to scrap with) but have a clear view so you can fire accurately at other competitors.

B&B has huge, rambling courses, with the competitors sticking together in a vast, leapfrogging bunch. Excepting the homing missiles, your weapons (oil slicks, walls and the like) are dropped from behind you, increasing the difficulty of hitting someone (already high due to the small amount of visible road ahead) and also robbing you of the pleasure of seeing your victim spin out.

Worst of all the weapons are practically redundant, because you can floor the accelerator and pass any of the cars with impunity - only to see them zoom past you 10 seconds later. If I were being kindhearted, I'd accept the explanation that this is because the drivers cunningly employ their turbo power-ups, but, er, surely they can't be collecting these at twice the frequency you or I would find them?

This phenomenon can be reduced to a deliberate mechanism on the programmer's part. The intention behind it is to maintain the challenge of the computer cars, but in practice it's infuriating. Imagine the situation. You've just spent two or three solid minutes trying to catch up with the pack. You do so and then manage to steal the lead.

Suddenly Count Chaos, or Colonel Carnage, or whoever turbo-boosts past you or hits you with a homing rocket. You wobble out of control for a few seconds. Meanwhile, the pack's overtaken you and you're left with lot of catching up to do. Again.

So, much (in fact, most) of your time is spent zooming along an empty track and watching the scenery.

The pleasure of seeing your victim spin

The actual driving mechanics are soggy as well. Step forward Lotus Turbo Esprit. With that game the circuits are short and interesting. You have to use the throttle a lot, especially when cornering and steering. For example, you're flat out and approaching a bend. Centrifugal force slows the car toward the outer barriers. You have to ease off the throttle to stay on the track, in extreme cases braking hard.

This leads to a perceptible slowdown of both the graphics and the engine noise. If playing against a human player as well, they can hear the aural cue and work out roughly where you are on the course. Not one of these mechanics are satisfyingly implemented in B&B.

There's no sense of acceleration, easing off the throttle on bends seems to have little effect, running into obstacles doesn't even slow your car (although the speedo reading drops) and the sound, although jolly in its own special way, tells you nothing.

But the game scores highly when up against Wacky Races. The eight competitors are highly characterful, the graphics are lovely, with clean lines and great slabs of colour, and the animation is smooth and flicker-free. It's certainly more fun than watching the cartoon, anyway.

Bump 'n' Burn is a case of great idea, but markedly unfulfilling game. The manic compactness of Mario Kart has been fatally compromised, and the unreal, floaty way your car handles finishes off the illusion of driving.

B&B's funny, in a funny kind of way. It's got a lot of character, in a characterful kind of way. Unfortunately, it lacks addictive gameplay. In an unaddictive kind of way.


Colonel Carnage in his getaway tractor. Yesterday.
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I've always said that six exhausts are better than four.
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Loretta Lamour reies on hairdryer turbo power. Tcha.
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Iggy Loo, or something, wasn't available for comment.
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The Dragon chews without using Actizol.
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Buck Toothed Beavers. Turbo beavers more like.
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Bump 'n' Burn logo CU Amiga Screen Star

It's a well-known fact that women are better drivers than men (is it?- Ed) so we sent Lisa Collins off in a fast car to have a look at Grandslam's latest racing game.

I loved Mario Kart when it came out on (the vastly interior) SNES, so I was looking forward to playing Grandslam's latest track game - Bump 'N' Burn. At first glance, I was a little disappointed, the graphics seemed few and far between and the screen appeared to be very dark. However, after quite a few spins around the track, the game began to grow on me. In fact, it grew on me so much that after one lengthy bout of racing around the various tracks, I developed a bout of motion sickness and had to leave the office to get a breath of fresh air to revive myself.

Bump 'N' Burn is set in Toonai land and once a decade all the drivers try to pit their wits and skill against the current champion - Count Chaos who would stoop to any lengths to stop you winning. To help you beat the Count, you can choose one of eight characters and cars. It's all fair and above board, no car is better than any other and none of the characters have any extra powers over the others. For example, the eskimo character doesn't fare any better in, say, the Ice world than the desperate Dan character. But, fear not, you can soup up your car throughout the race by picking up coins and going to the shop to buy extra bits and pieces to give you that extra edge over the other competitors.

The championship is set over seven worlds which range from the Haunted Forest through to Future World. You can race through these zones, in whatever order you want, until you earn enough points to take on the evil Crusher. There's a handy map at the bottom of the screen to let you know what position you are in. However, you rarely get the chance to look away from the screen to check it because everything moves so quickly in this game. Bump 'N' Burn map However, Bump 'N' Burn is more than just endless racing around various tracks hoping to get there first. There are numerous obstacles along the way that you must dodge, such as enormous penguins, threatening igloos, scary ghosts, menacing candy sticks, pot holes and such like. Also, at any moment, flying saucers or enormous birds might try to lift you off info oblivion.

To combat these you have some dirty tricks up your sleeve. For a start, if you hit the right signpost on the side of a track you can send all the other cars behind you off in the wrong direction. Also, by collecting the stars that are littered around not only can you make yourself invincible or invisible, you can notch up some nasty surprises for your opponents.

These dastardly tricks probably give the most satisfaction in two player mode. Watch with glee as your opponent veers off the track straight into the bushes when you drop a smoke screen behind you. Smirk smugly as he skids all over the oil slick you left behind for him - as you race off into the lead. Smile sympathetically as he crashes head-first info the iron wall that you considerately left behind.

The tricks all add to the fun of the game. But had you better be careful because the other opponents can do the same to you. I found the smoke screens the most annoying as you never knew when they were going to strike, so keeping on the track was very difficult.

In all, Bump 'N' Burn is a fun but tricky game. You have to keep your wits around you at all times to make sure you dodge the pits of debris or igloos. That always seem to be lying on the track. There are a few minor niggles though. Some of the worlds appear to have been given more detail than others. Whereas the Future Word has lots of nice graphics and various space-like items strewn around the level, the Haunted Forest just seems to have the odd lump of wood strewn about.

Also, there was a difference of opinion in the office concerning the cornering. Some felt that handling was just a bit too sticky for the game's own good.

Minor niggles aside, Bump 'N' Burn is a fun if not entirely original racing game. It brings a new and humorous slant to an old genre and ultimately succeeds on gameplay too.

Bump 'n' Burn logo CD32

When the floppy version of Bump 'n' Burn was first released on the Amiga, it was met with mostly good reviews and Grandslam is obviously hoping to emulate its success with its shiny new CD32 version.

Bump 'n' Burn is set in Toonia's seven kingdoms, each having a different cartoon theme ranging from 'The War Torn City' to the compulsory ice levels. Each scenario has its own character, who has its own properties and 'personalities'. Although these fail to drastically alter the game play, they make it slightly more amusing in two-player mode and offer a bit more variation.

There are a total of seven tracks available for you to compete on as you travel around Toonia, and can be completed in any order. To qualify you are required to finish in at least fourth place, with your position depending on how much money you can make.

Grandslam has attempted to use the whole of the CD32's colour palette, and occasionally the tracks become so garish it makes it hard to tell exactly what is going on. The main sprites and backdrops, however, look good and improve on the original A500 version immensely.

As you race through the game, you can collect various 'power ups' haphazardly littered around the track. When you first start playing they appear to do very little, and only add much excitement to the game in two-player mode.

This version is almost exactly the same as the A1200 release, and the levels hardly fill a CD. The inclusion of a tacky American voice-over before the race enhances the cartoon feel of the game, but quickly palls after the first hearing.

This game is aimed at the younger end of the market, but the difficulty levels and restrictive playing area make it quite frustrating. It's definitely not recommended for people who have the original game, and owners without the original should take a long look before purchasing.


Bump 'n' Burn logo CD32

Grandslam * 0181 680 7044 * £29.99

Bump 'n' Burn tries hard to be the Amiga/CD32 equivalent of Super Mario Kart on the SNES. But it fails, not miserably, but it fails nevertheless.
The driving perspective is the same as any of the Lotus games. Although it most closely resembles the first due to the race taking place over circuits rather than stages.

Unfortunately, Bump 'n' Burn's biggest fault lies with the size of the circuits compared to the number of competitors. Due to the small, tight dimensions of the circuits on Mario Kart, no matter where you are in the field, there's always someone either just ahead of you or in your slipstream. Therefore, you're always in conflict, and by definition, doing something that's mildly exciting and entertaining.

Not so with Bump 'n' Burn. While it's nigh on impossible to take a commanding lead due to the way the competing cars have been programmed, it's all too easy to completely get out of touch with the rest of the field if you make fairly simple mistakes and drop behind. Consequently, a lot of time is spent scenery watching while you pootle round to catch up.

Consider also that there are only seven tracks to race on. Compare that to the 32 of the original Lotus which had nice, well-designed circuits with 20 cars keeping a reasonable speed throughout the race and thus maintaining an even challenge.

The message is simple. If you own a CD32 and are in the market for a top driving game, avoid Bump 'n' Burn and go for the Lotus Trilogy from Gremlin instead. It will last longer and represents far better value for money.

Rasende Rollstühle

Bump 'n' Burn logo CD32

Vor vier Monaten konnte uns Grandslams "Buggy Boy"-Klon bloß ein müdes Lächeln abringen - da darf man sich von einer nur unwesentlich veränderten CD-Ausführung natürlich keine Begeisterungsstürme erwarten.

Es hilft einfach alles nix, die Machart dieser niedlichen Action-Raserei ist und bleibt veraltet. Wer sich hier trotzdem den Pokal krallen will, der sucht hier eines von sieben Vehikeln mitsamt dem passenden Cartoon-Piloten (etwa Loretta Lamour oder Eric der Eskimo) aus und bestreitet dann sieben Rennen.

Unterwegs kennt der Siegeswille keine Schamtgrenzen, denn auf der Strecke eingesammelte Sterne verwandeln sich in Raketen, Minen, Öllachen und andere Konkurrentenkiller, während man aufgeklaubtes Geld in bessere Motoren, Panzerungen oder Reifen investiert.

Die Begegnung mit den tobenden Naturgewalten (in Form von riesigen Schneebällen etc.) verbraucht nämlich kostbare Zeit, darüber hinaus nagt sie an der Leistungsfähigkeit der eigenen Karre. Und es muß ja zumindest immer der dritte Platz erreicht werden, sonst verhindert nur noch eins der drei Continues das vorzeitige Aus.

Das alles kann man in drei Schwierigkeitsgraden erleben, zudem darf man auf Wunsch einem menschlichen Konkurrenten am Splitscreen die Rücklichter zeigen.

In Sachen Präsentation meldet der Verkehrsfunk Grafiken aus dem 3D-Biedermeier, eine nette Titelmelodie, magere Effekte und neuerdings auch Sprachausgabe.

Die Steuerung ist schwammig wie gehabt, allerdings geht das Waffenauslösen via Pad nun etwas flotter vonstatten. Spielerische Überraschungen waren dagegen nicht startberechtigt, wodurch CD-Konkurrenten wie "Top Gear 2" oder die "Lotus Trilogy" immer noch locker an Bump 'n Burn vorbeiziehen. (mic)

Bump 'n' Burn CD32 logo CD32

Price: £29.99 Publisher: Grandslam 081 680 7044

Vroom! Was that Penelope Pitstop shooting past? No, it was Lisa Collins testing out the CD conversion of this racing classic.

Wacky Races meets Mariocart in Grandslam's CD32 conversion of Bump N Burn. The boys and girls from the land of Toonia are back, ready to pit their racing skills against the evil Count Chaos ina bid for the cup, and the chance to dethrone the Count from his reign of terror on the tracks.

The format of the CD version is much the same as it was on the Amiga. The characters are the same and you pick from a while host of them such as Mr Fabulous, Dodgy Dinos, Eskimos, and the like. Once you've picked your wagon and your drivers, you're off on a grueling racing epic across a plethora of tracks in a variety of different worlds.

The choice of worlds is also similar to the Amiga version. The haunted world, ice world, a prehistoric world, to name a few are still there, with the addition of a dream world and a new space level on the CD version.

Each world still has its own unique scenery and obstacles to watch out for. This makes the game more interesting than just endlessly racing around the same track. For example, when you get bored avoiding the overgrown magpies (prehistoric birds) who keep trying to swoop down and whisk you away, you can switch to the haunted world and spend your time trying to avoid ghostly figures who leap out and scram at you.

When you're not spending your time trying to avoid the indigenous baddies of each level you can try to bump the other cars off the track, or get them with homing bones, smoke screens, drawing pins, oil slicks, boxing gloves and whatever else takes your fancy.

Or invite a friend around, spend your time in two-player split screen mode trying to bump them off the track. They won't thank you for it but what heck, it's a laugh init?

But don't be fooled into thinking that Bump N Burn is just mindless racing around different tracks in different worlds. There's a trace of strategy involved if you want to last the course and win the championship.

It's best to start off on the easier worlds first (you'll soon gather which ones they are) so you can collect as many coins and stars as possible. Once you have enough dosh you can go into the shop and buy yourself some better tyres, a new engine, or booster and bumper power.

The more points and money you collect the better the type of engine you can buy, or you can save it all up and splash out on some flashy Carlos Fandango tyres. It's up to you. Also, to get yourself some extra time, make sure you run over many bunnies as possible - not very humane I know, but there's no place for wimps in this game.

Same but different
Yes, yes that's all very well but is there any difference between the Amiga vesion and the CD32 version? Happily, there is. Unlike a lot of other companies, Grandslam haven't just bunged an identical version of the game onto CD32 without using the extra power of CD. OK, they may not have totally revamped the game, but they have improved on some minor parts. They've also gone to town in the soundtrack and music departments.

The bits that have been improved upon are mostly to help the player even more. For example, you can now quite easily see what position you're in by glancing at the figure (i.e. 1st, 2nd etc) in the box bottom left of the screen.

The mapping option is a welcome addition as you can now see exactly where the others are on the track. As well as these additions there are roughly ten new cheat modes on the CD32. Apparently, these can be found if player two holds down the top right control button while player one fiddles about with various combinations.

But where BNB CD32 really comes into its own has to be in the sound department. The new Wacky Races style commentary before each race adds humour and personality to the game. The new soundtracks for each level also add bags of atmosphere to the overall playability. The tunes range from jazzy numbers for the snow worlds to the Munsters meet techno for the haunted worlds.

Fluffy dice
Bump N Burn was a good fun game on the Amiga and it's still a good fun game on the CD32. The graphics are good, the sound excellent, and the overall gameplay is fun. And if you make it to the end of the game a hidden twist unfolds. To find out what, play the game - I'm not telling.

Bump 'n' Burn CD32
  1. Nice friendly shopkeeper but try to buy...
  2. ...anything you can't afford and he gets a little bit fed up poor love.
  3. Get the engine of your dreams if you dare.
  4. Knock them off the track into oblivion with some bump power.
  5. Yes sir get your road gripping tyres here. Very handy for bumpy terrain.
  6. Or a little extra lift with some booster power perhaps?