I'm pretty sure everyone is of the idea that games based on movies or movies based on games rarely come up with the goods. I'm.... not quite so sure what to think of games based on comics, though, but if this game is any indication, that might not be all that bad. Then again, the comic this game is based on has probably lived far longer than it has any right to, but that might not have anything to do with this game.
But where the first BC game put you in a constantly scrolling... avoid 'em up?... Grog's Revenge infuriatingly leans more towards a pick 'er upper. As in "control the freewheelin' caveman Thor on his quest to pick up enough clams to pay the toll required to pass on to"... well, I don't know, actually, because this game could be really frustrating at times.
None of that frustration can be aimed towards the graphics, though. Yeah, it's simple cartoon fare, but it's actually a pretty decent recreation of the comics themselves. Sprite animation isn't particularly impressive either, but Thors gaffes are also recreated quite comically, depending on how he loses yet another life; either through crashing into the wall, driving his wheel over the edge or... hell, meeting the titular character Grog, who's always hot on your trail and will kill you by saying his name really, really loudly? That will end your game outright, regardless of how many lives you have left. And I have no idea why the game is named "Grog's Revenge"; I don't think he had much of an antagonistic role in the first game aside from maybe wanting to club Thor in the head during one of his turtle-hopping episodes, which honestly makes me wonder where the whole "revenge" angle comes from. Maybe it's revenge from being such a stud, while Grog himself is a hairball with feet and a huge nose. That's probably why he's stealing your clams too.
Yes, he also collects the damn things, and you're going to have to deal with that fact.
With that goal in mind, you, as the player, is asked to brave the narrow mountainside paths in an attempt to collect enough clams. This is by no means easy, as Thor moves quite swiftly, and once he starts moving, he won't stop for anything other than the many faces of death. The game features a map of sorts at the bottom half, which does make orientation a little bit easier, not to mention keeping track of where Grog is. (Don't worry, though; ominous music will start playing if you get too close.) To break the game up from constant cliffside balancing acts, there is also a cave you can drive through. The problem is; once inside, you will only be able to see for a short distance ahead of you, so thread carefully. Well, insofar that you can, seeing as Thor's speed inside the caves are as constant as outside.
Be aware, though; BC II - Grog's Revenge is not an easy game. In fact, it can be teeth-gnashingly difficult at times, made all the worse by the fact that once the game is started, you will get no breaks until you complete it... or die. And everything in this game wants to see you dead, so your chances are slim to say the least. And Slim hates your guts too.
What I can't blame the game for, however, is being unfair. Controls are tight, but responsive, and you only have yourself to thank in the event of another lost life. Given how numerous the clams you need to pick up are, it might make the whole "you gotta collect them all" aspect of the game a little tedious -- that is, if you can get your heart to go back down your throat and behind your ribcage again -- but all in all, BC II - Grog's Revenge is a pretty good game.
Downloads: Music, Advert
|GRAPHICS - 5/10|
|Yeah, this game won't win any awards for mindblowing visuals anytime soon. They do a passable job at portraying the comic, though, and death animations -- which you will see often -- are suitably comic and will take some of the edge off those frustrations.|
|SOUND - 5/10|
|The game doesn't have any music past the whole "Grog is coming to end your ass", and even that is more of an ominous chord rather than a full piece. Sound effects are by and large decent enough, though the constant chatter of clams being picked up might grate after a while.|
|PLAYABILITY - 8/10|
|The game encompasses a nice range of challenges, from "I can do this" to "please kill me now". And that's taken into account that the Commodore 64 was rarely known for showing much mercy with its games. But then, the controls are generally good, save for maybe being a little bit finicky with what constitutes a wall or not... or a fall or not. It's just a matter of getting used to it.|
|OVERALL - 7/10|
|BC II - Grog's Revenge is an easy game to pick up and play. Well, I guess that could be said about most games, but the concept of picking up stuff makes this game a blast to play, and the different difficulties gives it some replayability, which, given the generally monotonous design of the game, helps a lot. I may question Thor's common sense in that he picks up clams by seemingly squashing them with his stone tire, but I do not question the game's ability to entertain.|