The Flintstones logo

Price: £19.99

Fans of Hanna Barbera's prehistoric cartoon series have had a bit of a treat recently. They have been able to buy Fred 'n' Barney boxer shorts and do a promotional bop to the Screaming Blue Messiah's 'I wanna be a Flintstone'. They should think carefully though before they invest in this licence.

Seasoned gamers will remember the version released a couple of years back on the 64. That had nice graphics which caught the feel of the programme, but tedious pick-up-and-drop gameplay. The Amiga version is not the same game at all, but it suffers from similar problems.

It divides into two sections and has a simple plot which takes you from one to the other. In the first sub-game Fred wants to bowling with his old pal Barney Rubble.

The problem is that Wilma (the missus) won't let him until he has painted the living room. This would not be such a hassle if Fred did not have to mind Pebbles (the bubby) at the same time. And what a naughty wee thing she is too.

Every time Fred gets stuck into the job Pebbles nips out of her playpen and starts doodling on the walls. Fred has to stop painting, put down the brush (a fluffy-tailed critter) and put her back before he can paint over her handiwork. This happens frequently, and there is a time limit. Perhaps if he gave her a good clout she might pack it in, but you cannot do that.

If you complete Part One get to bowling with Barney. Away the lads! A few bevies and into the bowling shoes. And pon my soul if Part Two is not a bowling sim-ette. A couple of stabs on the fire button adjust an on-screen meter for curve and speed and Fred tip-toes down the alley and slings his ball down. And that is all there is to it.

Grandslam's Flintstones is not a bad game by any means. The graphics are pretty well spot on and it captures the flavour of the show well enough. What is missing is any real depth. Part One's arcade adventurish poser is just too short, whilst the bowling sim that is Part Two is totally incongruous. Someone must have run out of ideas.