It seems that every three or four years I get the idea to review a video game on Lemon. For this once in a blue moon opportunity, I am going to choose Biggles (1986, Mirrorsoft). This game is not based off of the adventure books by Captain W.E. Johns, for that I recommend Blue Max despite not having the Biggles moniker. The game is based off of the forgotten 1986 movie called Biggles: Adventures In Time.
The movie is about a young naive salesman named Jim Ferguson who one day finds himself in the middle of a hole in time between 1986 New York (later London) and 1917 Western Front. In the hole, he meets Biggles who asks him for help as the German army has set up a secret weapon that may change history. Throughout the movie both Jim and Biggles enter the time schism, usually at points where both are in mortal danger, landing in oftentimes hilariously awkward situations. E.G. when Jim and Biggles raid a nunnery in 1917 France, Jim suddenly lands in London and is greeted by his friend who says "What are you? A transvestite bank robber?!" He later gets in trouble by firing a machine gun at the London police while thinking he is surrounded by German troops. Later, Biggles and Jim evading the police and SAS find a helicopter in 1986 London and manage to transport it to 1917 Germany to help win the war for the allies.
The game has 3 stages. Each are accessed when you die in the level. After 3 cycles, the game is over. The first is a typical sidescroller shoot em up with you piloting Biggles' plane over the lines of World War I. You either avoid or blast at the planes and anti-aircraft guns at the bottom of the screen, you normally only have two bombs to use on the ack-acks (as Biggles would say).
The second stage involves both Biggles and Jim (who look identical) in 1986 London. They are on the rooftops avoiding the SAS and jumping over as many buildings as they can. This level is the most difficult as the SAS troops can sometimes move erratically and you can occasionally mistime your jump.
The third stage lands you on foot in the middle of hostile territory during World War I. I believe you are playing Jim, could be Biggles but the programmers did not bother to differentiate! There are many hazards to avoid, thankfully you can hide underground if the action gets too heavy. The hazards include, tons of German troops which you can shoot and bunkers with automatic guns which you have to avoid.
All stages are rather enjoyable to play but can be tedious. I honestly feel that the game is an infinite scroll where you round up points for the sake of staying alive. However, if you have time to kill and am a fan of the movie or the W.E. Johns series, and you love action you will enjoy it!
Overall, Biggles is a rather fun game that in some ways feels rather empty as I have no idea if there is any level progression. The game is a good companion to the movie. I felt however that there was not much point as the game felt like it could go on infinitely. However, that would not stop one from repeatedly loading it as it is addicting. Well, tally ho, chaps! I am trying again to defeat those blasted Gerrys!
"Let's kick some ass!" - Jim Ferguson
Downloads: Music, Advert
|GRAPHICS - 7/10|
|The title screen is very well drawn and you can definitely recognize the focal points in the game. The only complaint I have that it is a little blocky looking. I also would have preferred it if I knew whether I was controlling Jim or Biggles. |
|SOUND - 8/10|
|When the title appears we have a well sequenced version of the movie theme. Afterwards, during the game there is some gripping music that has does not change during levels. Sound effects are adequate, they serve their purpose well. |
|PLAYABILITY - 7/10|
|This game is rather difficult and has quite a learning curve. It took me time to figure out how to switch players during the rooftop sequence. Otherwise, it was a fun experience. |
|OVERALL - 7/10|
|This game is a great representation of the movie "Biggles: Adventures In Time" (1986) that keeps the atmosphere of suspense with non-stop action. If you have not seen the movie it would be rather confusing, but the game is still enjoyable nonetheless. |