Title Bograts Game Type Puzzle Company Vulcan Software Players 1 Compatibility AGA HD Installable Yes Submission Ken Anderson This Amiga Report review appears here by courtesy of Jason Compton Review "It isn't easy being a parent, as any Bograt will tell you", begins the blurb for Bograts, Vulcan Software's latest MiniSeries game. Personally, I wouldn't have thought it would have been easy being ANYTHING when you're a Bograt. Just the knowledge that I was part of the species Bograt would be enough to keep me in bed in the morning. Anyway, easy or not, you're a Bograt, and you've been left in charge of your two offspring (affectionately known as "Red" and "Blue") for an evening. Right on cue, they go off and decide it's time to go hunting for the magical eggs at the big bad Mystical Castle of Bog. Right, that's the plot out of the way. Yes, it's another save'em'up - get dumb creatures from A to B without being killed along the way; for reference, see the Blobz review in this same issue. Keep reading, however, because the two games still manage to be quite different. In the first place, rather than have a semi-omnipotent player controlling the surroundings, Bograts puts you in the same playing area as the baby Bogs. As the parent, you have to roam around the level, clearing a path to the exit for your kids to travel along. There's the usual array of hazards: spikes, fires, enemy somethings and so on. Levers are invariably dotted around the levels, opening and closing ladders and doors, and operating elevators and conveyor belts. The baby Bogs both have permanent special abilities: one can frighten away nasties, the other can collect keys and open doors. The parent can jump with the best of them, aided with springs and the occasional High Jump pill. At certain locations on each level, you can enter Map Mode, which allows you to sweep around the level and see what's what - absolutely essential for finding out what each lever does and planning the next move. My first instinct with this game was what I'm afraid a lot of players might do: play the first couple of levels, get hopelessly stuck on the third and file the game away for a boring Sunday afternoon. It's not action-packed, it doesn't have a particularly novel concept, and there's no immediate hook. But ... and it's one of those big buts ... Bograts rewards success with ever more intricate level designs and fiendish puzzles, and it really does begin to sink it's teeth into you. You may not rattle through the 60 levels at any great pace, but you will have the desire to see the next one. By the time you've finished that lot, the planned data disk should be here. The first real criticism is that the graphics just aren't clear enough. The switches, vital in most levels, easily blend into the background graphics, making them difficult to spot unless you're really looking for them. The baby Bogs aren't too difficult themselves to see, and there is a neat "split-screen" effect which means you can view the main parent character and either one of the baby Bogs at the same time. What really annoyed me, however, was the restart level facility - or the lack of it. You cannot start a level again from scratch - you either start from the very beginning of level 1 again, or you load a saved game. Games can be saved at any point, providing you have enough energy points, but the constant loading/saving just to restart a level pulls you back out of the game world and into the real world - something a game should never do on purpose. I can't see any point in NOT having a level restart facility, and it is a real minus point for floppy-only users (the game is hard drive installable, however). Despite the storyline, I can't help thinking this is a game more suited to the older gamesplayer - I know of a couple of Amiga-owning dads who would sit all night with this one. If you know someone like this too, Bograts is another stocking-filler that'll keep them going long after the turkey sandwiches have disappeared. Pros: Level designs show thought, and the puzzle fan will enjoy working through of the 60 stages - plenty to be going on with. Cons: Confusing graphics, and poor restart facilities. Not for those without a brain.