Producer: Bug-Byte
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: machine code
Author: Adrian Sherwin


Cousin Barnabee to the rescue.

In the time honoured cinema tradition of ‘once you’ve got a hit on your hands — hit it again’, Antics is The Birds and the Bees II. It can’t really be called Son of Birds and the Bees, since the hero of Antics is Barnabee, who happens to be a cousin to Boris Bee, the hero of the previous game. (Some of these games recently are getting a cast list as complicated as a Shakespeare play!).

The scenario states that Boris Bee (he of B&B fame) has been set upon by a vicious gang of ants and locked away somewhere within their nest, to await a terrible fate (what, worse than death?). Fortunately for Boris, help is at hand in the shape of his cousin Barnabee, who is about to launch a daring mission of rescue.

The game takes the form of a large number of interlinked mazes which represent the various layers of the ants’ nest. Barnabee starts off above ground by his hive and can fly to the right through four screens avoiding the blue birds which kill on contact. In screen three and four there are entrances to the ant complex below ground. The object is to discover the whereabouts of imprisoned Boris and rescue him. Boris will follow Barnabee if he is close enough, but Boris is weak, so you have to fly slowly on the way out back to the hive.

The nest is infested with ants and beetles. Contact with these creepies will sap Barnabee’s strength (Bar code above) but visiting the flowers that also live in the nest will restore strength through pollen. Some flowers have the property of opening up walls in the mazes when they are visited. The wall opened may not be in the maze on screen at the time. In some mazes the walls are weak and will collapse as Barnabee touches them. There are also energy-sapping thorns embedded in the walls of the mazes.

Antics is played to the tune of Bach’s Toccata Fugue in D — a sort of jazzed up version. Is that why J.S. Bach appears in the halls of fame along with Mrs Mopp, AAAAAAA and Mr. Spock? There’s also Dr. Jones Did Not Believe It in there too.




Control keys: Q/W and alternates on rest of row = left/right, bottom row=flap wings, S=sound on, A=sound off.
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: with three keys, very easy, keys are responsive but it takes getting used to the momentum factor
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: excellent — smooth, detailed, fast and clear
Sound: excellent — continuous tune which manages to continue while a death rattle sounds if you lose your life!
General rating: original, playable and addictive excellent value and highly recommended.

Use of computer89%
Getting started87%
Addictive qualities92%
Value for money90%

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