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Title: Bubba N' Stix
Author:Core Design Inc.
Rom Player: Genecyst
Reviewer: Bad Mr. Frosty

Synopsis: I remember seeing this little gem advertised in Game Fan magazine in 1994. After reading the article, I went on a mad search looking for it. But much to my surprise, no store in my town was carrying this game! Not Toys R' Us, not FuncoLand, not even Toyworks! So I just gave up searching and thought I would never have this game.

But now I just won it on eBay for five bux!

It's a puzzle game. And it's a real tricky one too. I played it over about a week, and the number of times I was reduced to simply staring at the screen, completely clueless, was intensely aggravating. You can be locked in a doorless prison cell with nothing but a steel drum and a small hole in the wall for company, and somehow you have to find a way out. Or you'll be at the foot of a sheer cliff far too high to jump up, with no apparent objects to interact with and only a couple of tiny aliens cluttering up the screen who pay no attention whatsoever to anything you try to do to them. You'll traipse backwards and forwards for ages and ages, looking for the tiniest clue as to what to do, when suddenly, after half an hour, you'll notice that the two aliens are apparently arguing with each other as you enter the screen, but they stop and act dumb as soon as you get anywhere near them.

So you go off the screen again, creep on so that they're just in view, then throw your alien mate Stix at them while they're still arguing. One of them grabs him, whacks the other one over the head, and as a lump rises on his head (with Stix still wedged on there), you can quickly run, jump up onto the now platform-like Stix and leap up the cliff. You see? You see the kind of effort we're dealing with here? But oh the feeling I get after solving a puzzle! If you want to see the end of Bubba'N'Stix, you're going to have to do more than sit in front of it with the joypad in your hands and your brain switched off for two hours, and that's why some people won't like it.

Me? I like it a lot. It's got a lovely atmosphere, a couple of great characters, and some mind-bending puzzles. It's not perfect, though - there're only five levels, and since you only get a password when you finish one and you're not likely to give up any one session until you do, you're only likely to play the game on five separate occasions. Probably. And the sound's a bit nob. But otherwise it's cool, really - the mix of puzzle-solving and platform skills is just about right, and it's immensely lovable.

Story:9
It was just another ordinary day for our hero Bubba and his pal Stix as they traveled back home from a hard days work at the bubble gum factory, when suddenly an alien space craft swooped down from the sky and took both Bubba and Stix as hostages onboard the mothership.

It wasn't long before Bubba started pressing buttons he shouldn't and soon ended up trapped on an alien planet in which plant life walks free, strange creatures have conversations behind your back and big green aliens are trying desperately to get you back. It's up to you and Stix to escape this strange new world and return home before it's too late.

Gameplay:8
If you love your platform games then you are going to love Bubba N Stix, I will be surprised if anyone reading this review has never at least heard of the game before now as it was one of the most talked about platform titles of the time. The idea is just the same as all the other platform games you have played and that is to escape from a nasty situation but in Bubba N Stix you can do much more than just run and jump, the game demands your concentration and thought as you wonder what to do next.

Graphics:9
Bubba N Stix is like a walking cartoon, the graphics are simply superb and offer some of the best animated characters you are ever likely to see on Sega Genesis, featuring Bubba (a slightly less than average bloke) his friend Stix which can be thrown in any direction and stuck into walls, walking trees that try to follow you, strange aliens that suddenly stop speaking when you come behind them and some very funny animation. This game couldn't have been done better.

Sound / Music:8
This game ranges from scary music to funky old jazz tunes from the start of the game right until the very end, the player is given the option to turn either the sound or music off at the start of the game which is always a good thing when you become annoyed by theme music.

Originality:9
Who ever thought you could mix strategy, puzzle, and adventure together and make such a masterpiece.

Overall:9
This is one of those game not everyone will like, but there are a few people, myself included, that simply adore it! Download it or buy it at a pawnshop. You won't be sorry.

Best Cheats: Level Codes:
2 - 7LRRF3H6G7
3 - 9VBDM!1!DN
4 - 3VTCF9JQG8
5 - !?ZZXQX769

Last Level:
Note: A six-button controller must be used to enable this code.

Press Start to pause game play after starting in level 1. Press A, C, Up, X, Y, B, Down, B, A.

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 9
Overall Rating: 9



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