Elroy Goes Bugzerk
Review by Jen
Elroy Goes Bugzerk is rated for ages 8 to 98. I fit in there
somewhere in the middle, so I thought I'd give it a shot. (Good thing
I'm not 99 or I'd have to give it a miss.) Turns out this is one of
them edumacational kind of things, about yucky ol' bugs, but it's
The main character is Elroy (well, duh, I know you knew that, I
was just testing you), a boy who loves bugs. Every year, he enters
a bug contest, and every year he wins. This year, however, his arch-nemesis,
Gordon Smugs, has an unbeatable bug, and Elroy doesn't know how
he's going to compete. And on top of that, on the very weekend of
the contest, his parents fob him and his blue dog, Blue, off on
a nameless farmer while they go do some kind of yoga retreat. But
all is not lost; once on the farm Elroy catches a glimpse of that
rarest of bugs, the technoloptera; if he can catch it, he is certain
to win the contest. And the game's afoot.
Gameplay consists of choices for the most part. There is no inventory;
you must simply choose the right things in the right order to progress
through the game. There are a lot of clickable areas that give you
some interesting information about bugs, and you'd best be paying
attention because there will be a quiz ... or two ... or three.
Every once in a while in the game, you must correctly answer a short
series of questions about bugs to continue.
The graphics are surprisingly pleasing. They are kind of a cross
between Blue's Clues and South Park, with those collage-y
kind of animated cutouts. Sometimes they are superimposed on sepia
or gray photos, and I don't know why this combination works, but
The voice acting is pretty good, too. Nobody sounds like they're
reading, and none of the characters are over the top. The blue dog
Blue talks, and he sounds just like Eeyore, or maybe Mr. Ed. Elroy
sounds like he smokes too many cigarettes (bad boy!), but I suspect
the voice actor is a cigarette-smoking adult trying to sound like
a kid instead of an actual cigarette-smoking kid (one would hope
that is the case, anyway). There is little or no music in the game;
if there was any, I really didn't notice it. The sound effects work
This is a Macromedia game that plays directly from the CD. Thus,
it seems unlikely that there would be any kind of installation difficulties.
I did have some trouble with fuzzy audio at first, but turning down
my sound card's hardware acceleration took care of that.
The one thing that I really didn't like about the game was the
(sort of) console-style save system. Although you can save at any
point in the game, you have to restart at the beginning of the scene
in which you saved. This game has some lengthy cut scenes that you
can't "esc" out of, and there is a lot of restarting because
you lose the game every time you make a mistake. I sure got tired
of hearing the same things over and over as I was puzzling my way
through. Also, you can't just plain save; you have to save and quit
at the same time and then restart the game.
One thing I really did like about the game is that it's family-friendly.
It's not too dumb for adults or too difficult for kids; the designers
managed to strike a nice balance. Not an easy accomplishment, and
my hat's off to Headbone for pulling it off.
In the end, it always boils down to that one burning question:
Was it fun? Yes. Elroy Goes Bugzerk was a very pleasant way
to while away an afternoon.
Release Date: 1995
Four Fat Chicks Links
33 MHz 486 or better
Windows 3.1 or 95
8 MB RAM
640×480, 256-color display
2X CD-ROM drive
Windows-compatible sound card, speakers, and mouse
25 MHz 68040 or better
System 7 or higher
8 MB RAM
640 × 480, 256-color display
2X CD-ROM drive
Where to Find It
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