Ragging on an abysmal game is child’s play. Sifting through the dirt to unearth hidden diamonds is where the real challenge lies. By “diamonds” the value of these highlights probably fall closer to “buried nickel from 1983”. But you get the idea; even the biggest trash fires must have some redeeming qualities. I’m going to dig them up.
2017’s Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back saw the infamous bobcat hop back to the limelight after spending two decades in well-deserved exile. Unfortunately, Bubsy’s comeback misses the mark due to bland gameplay, horrendous writing, and an uninspired presentation. Despite these problems, I did excavate a few worthwhile treasures while dumpster diving through the game.
It Crunch-A-Tized Me, Captain
Captain Crunch cereal generally doesn’t do it for me. I do, however, love me some Oops! All Berries. Bubsy’s yarn balls strongly remind me of Capt’s wonderful, all-Crunch Berry cereal. I especially like when a ton are bunched together, as pictured above. This must have been developer Black Forest Games’ intent: evoke strong memories of delicious cereal to help players forget that they’re suffering through a Bubsy game. It kind of worked.
The Bad Writing Is Barely Audible (In A Good Way)
I’m struggling to come up with an adjective nasty enough to describe the quality of Bubsy’s writing. Particularly, when it comes to his inane quips. Everything the bobcat utters feels like a verbal root canal but one positive exists. Since the audio quality sounds like the voice actor mumbled his lines over a phone (likely to avoid being overheard out of shame) Bubsy is barely intelligible at times. On top of that, the game also allows players to mute Bubsy entirely. Gamers should always have options, especially when it comes to silencing an unbearable motor-mouth.
The Game Earned One Genuine Laugh
Levels titles consist of TERRIBLE plays on popular films. Besides being stupid, they’re also pointless and misleading; the levels themselves have NOTHING to do with their namesakes. But out of all of the title, The Furry Road To Woolhalla made me laugh out loud for being the farthest reaching pun (?) of them all. With a game this awful I’ll take entertainment anywhere I can get.
Looking At The Glass Half Full
Some might describe the presentation as “cheap-looking”. I prefer using the term “rustic”. That’s all I got.
It Brought Back Fond Memories
Bubsy plays like a game design graduates portfolio project. By that I mean it’s not fun to play but succeeds in the area that matters: being functional. I should know seeing as I studied game design in college. Playing The Woolies Strike Back took me back to those simple days of toiling in computer labs to craft my own, craptacular, projects. Trips down memory lane are fun so thanks for bringing back the memories, Bubsy.
This Random Sign
This sign cryptically states “Here It Is” with a picture of motorcyclist. I’m not sure what “It” is–could “It” be the mysterious motorcycle rider? Is he/she a hidden character whose mission is to whisk players away from Bubsy’s terribleness? How do I unlock this vehicular savior? Whatever the explanation, I can’t help but like this sign.
Bubsy Respects The Player’s Time
With only three “worlds” containing a handful of quick levels a piece, The Woolies Strike Back can easily be completed in under an hour. This doesn’t come off as an artistic choice in the vein of succinct experiences like Journey or Gone Home. Bubsy’s length feels like Black Forest Games either ran out of cash or had very little to begin with.
However, this wound up being a blessing in disguise. Adult gamers saddled with responsibilities like a job or children often have trouble setting aside time for lengthy games. Bubsy’s got their back, as this game takes them in and out of its mediocre world in one quick sitting. Personally, I just didn’t want to spend any more time with Bubsy than necessary so I’m grateful for the mercifully short length. Granted, I also purchased it at a STEEP discount. Those who paid the full $30 for a game as fleeting as it is dismal likely aren’t as satisfied.
I’ll stop there as my arm is beginning to grow sore from having to reach so far for compliments. If you also played the game, first of all, why? Second, do you have any nice things to say about it? Share those silver linings in the comments.