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Roger Rabbit: Hare Raising Havoc logo

INFOGRAMES * £25.99 * hard drive only * Joystick * Out now

What a sensation that Roger Rabbit film was. Not since, ooh, Bedknobs and Broomsticks had a film so cleverly mixed live action with cartoons. Thoroughly enchanting. And what a whopping pile of crap the original Roger Rabbit was. Absolutely abysmal. Still, times change, and now Roger's back thanks to Infogrames' lucrative Disney licence. Has he got any better? Let's find out...

But first, The Plot. Roger has been left in charge of that cute and cuddly Baby Herman while the obligatory cartoon Mommy (well, her legs at least) goes shopping, or something like that. And, oh calamity. Baby Herman spies a giant bottle of milk on top of a local dairy and shuffles off to get it, just like babies do all the time.

Unfortunately he leaves Roger locked in the house. All you, as Roger, have to do is to figure out how to get out of each room and eventually out of the house and after the wayward tyke.

If you don't get the little bugger back to the house before Mommy returns, then Roger gets sent to the science lab to have shampoo rubbed in his eyes in the name of progress. Needless to say, Roger is a little bit way of this outcome. So rescuing the tot is top priority.

Well, first impressions. Mind-blowing actually. Once you've spent half your lifetime installing the whole thing to hard disk, that is. But, that wee chore out of the way, the graphics, animation and speech are above and beyond anything I've ever seen on the Amiga.

You know all those fancy adventures on the PC? Well, that's exactly what Hare Raising Havoc is like. Without the adventure bit, if you see what I mean. Basically, you've got seven levels. Each one is a couple of screens long with various objects and items lurking in the fancy scenery. All you have to do is to figure out how to get Roger out of this scene and into the next.

And usually, it involves the most obscure and outrageous route possible. After all, why bother just climbing out of the window when you can bounce yourself off an ironing board, via the sofa and through the little window over the door?

So, don't think logically about things - remember it's Toontown and anything is possible! So we're all agreed that it looks great, and you'll have to take my word for it that it sounds brilliant as well.

But how does it play? I don't think we need be reminded of just how crap games with amazing graphics tend to be, do we? Dragon's Lair? Space Ace? Nice to look at but about as playable as a stringless guitar.
Thankfully, Roger doesn't suffer quite as badly as those aforementioned cock-ups, but even so it's not quite everything it could've been.

The trouble is that with so many sounds and animations clogging up the memory, there's very little room for a proper game. It's great fun for the first few hours, but once you've got each scene sussed it becomes a bit of a chore having to go through the same routine every time you play, just to get to a new level.

The good point of the game, besides the spanky presentation, is that it's ideal for kids. It's the same price as most other games, rather than masquerading under an inflated price tag to justify the graphics, and youngsters will be spellbound by it.

It's also fairly easy to get in to, so they should be able to proceed without too much help. Of course, it does need a hard drive to run which will put it out of reach for a lot of people, but if you do have a hard drive with a spare 2Mb on it then this could keep the sprogs happy for a good long while.

For the rest of us though, it's a nice attempt. It looks and sounds brilliant, it even plays quite well, but at the end of the day there's very little substance to the game. It does promise bigger and better things from the Disney licence though. One to show off with, but not much else I'm afraid.

Roger Rabbit: Hare Raising Havoc logo

If you're a fan of Toon Town's most triumphant resident, the inimitable Roger Rabbit, you now have a new chance to take control of your hero - but beware - this six-disk cartoon adventure has serious strings attached. Firstly, you must have a hard disk (with six megabytes free) attached to your Amiga - the game will not run from floppies, due to the quantity of samples and animations which need to be accessed at runtime.

Secondly, you need at least a megabyte of internal memory just to get past the loading sequence - and even then the spectacular effects are loaded during the corresponding animations, causing the screen to freeze momentarily each time something happens. You can run the game in silent mode (though why you'd want to is anybody's guess), but 2Mb Amiga is the 'approved' way of making the animations run smoothly.

So, assuming you've fulfilled all these criteria, what do you get for your money? A six scene adventure, each with roughly 10 'Space Ace' style interactive bits, some excellent cartoon-noises, and the jerkiest screen scroll ever. All this and a countdown timer too! Play the game once, and you'll never want to play it again. Disney might make classic cartoons - but they sure as hell make duff computer games. Next!

Roger Rabbit: Hare Raising Havoc logo

Durch sein verblüffendes Zusammenspiel mit menschlichen Darstellern hat der Cartoon-Hase Kinotopp-Geschichte geschrieben, jetzt hat er sich auch in den Annalen der Computerhistorie verewigt: Wir präsentieren das erste Amiga-Game, das sich ausschließlich von Festplatte spielen läßt!

Nein, hier handelt es sich nicht um einen verspäteten Aprilscherz, sondern um ein bitter ernst gemeintes Zitat aus der Anleitung: "Das Spiel muß auf Festplatte installiert werden".

Ganz klein und unauffällig steht es auch mal außen auf der Packung - ob sich Disney vielleicht gar für diese sensationelle Pionierleistung schämt? Daß auch mindestens 1MB Arbeitsspeicher benötigt wird, versteht sich da beinahe von selbst, aber die Anleitung hält noch mehr Überraschungen bereit: "Wenn Sie über nur 1MB verfügen, werden Sie während des Spiels manchmal bemerken, daß die Animation 1 oder 2 Sekunden lang einfriert."

Nur von Festplatte? Nur 1MB? Na super, welche Konfiguration braucht man eigentlich, damit der Hase richtig lauft?

Oder sollen wir besser fragen, ob es sich wohl lohnt, nun extra seinen Amiga aufzurüsten? Denkt man rund drei Jahre zurück, genauer an den ersten Digi-auftritt des Trickfilm-Hasen (auch damals schon unter den Fittichen von Infogrames), so kommen da doch arge Zweifel auf: Das Actionspielchen sah zwar nett aus, war ansonsten aber eher dünn - ob das actionbetonte Adventure jetzt eine bessere Figur macht?

Nun, erstmal macht jedenfalls der gute Roger eine traurige Figur, sitzt er doch allein zu Haus, obwohl er eigentlich auf Baby Herman aufpassen sollte.

Der jugendliche Zigarrenraucher hat es aber vorgezogen, der Molkerei nebenan einen Besuch abzustatten, was unseren Roger vor größere Probleme stellt: Wenn er den kleinen Racker nicht wieder einfängt, ehe Mami vom Einkaufen zurück ist, gibt's mächtig Zoff!

Erschwerend kommt hinzu daß er selbst im Haus eingeschlossen ist...

In der Praxis soll man dem Langohr also bei seiner Flucht durch diverse Räumlichkeiten behilflich sein, Ausgangspunkt ist das Wohnzimmer. Hier gilt es, zunächst einen Wandschrank zu öffnen, den Deckenventilator einzuschalten, sich durch Hüpfen am Sofa an dessen Rotorblätter zu krallen und im richtigen Moment abzuspringen - schon saust Roger durchs Zimmer, und ab geht's durch den Lüftungsschlitz in die Küche!

Die Rätsel werden leider auch später nicht viel anspruchsvoller, wegen der begrenzten Anzahl von probiertauglichen Gegenständen überfordert die Hasenjagd noch nicht mal Brorks bescheidene Geisteskräfte.

So mager der Spielablauf, so gelungen die Präsentation: Grafik und Sound sind vom Allerfeinsten; wo Disney draufsteht, ist halt auch Disney drin. Immer unter der Voraussetzung natürlich, daß man eine mächtig aufgerüstete "Freundin" besitzt, sonst - siehe oben. Auch die Joysticksteuerung klappt ordentlich, aber was hilft's? Das nächste Mal bitte ein anspruchsvolleres Gameplay und dafür weniger Ansprüche an die Hardware... (od)

Roger Rabbit: Hare Raising Havoc logo

Opinion is split in the AP office this month. That's why, in this once only special, we present the case for and against Disney's new cartoon...

As a well-known bowl of petunias once said, "Oh no, not again". After suffering the dismal Space Ace II in issue 10, the last thing I wanted to see was another multi-disk cartoon extravaganza with astonishing graphics and almost invisible gameplay. But wait! Hare Raising Havoc is different! Oh yeah?

Well, for a start, there's no more of that perpetual disk-swapping stuff - this game comes on six floppies, but you only have to swap them round once, and that's when you install the game onto your hard drive. Yes, that's right, Hare Raising Havoc simply won't allow you to play from the floppies, so ignore the small print on the box at your peril. Bye bye, the 80 percent of Amiga owners with no hard drive. (And hello to the other 20 percent, all those serious types who use their machines for 'proper' things like wordprocessing and accounting and stuff like that. Lots of Roger Rabbit fans among their ranks, I'll bet.)

On the bottom half of the page there, Mark might tell you that this is different from Space Ace and the other games that Don Bluth ilk because it gives you freedom of movement around the screen and hence much more involvement in the game. Believe him about the freedom of movement, but don't trust him about the game.

In Space Ace, you watch an animation for a while, then have to make a decision on a simple joystick movement to prgoress. In Hare Raising Havoc, you still have to do the simple joystick-movement bit, but you get to fill in the walking-between-problems bit yourself. Big fat hairy deal. Roger's cartoon logic doesn't even give you a clue as to what to do next, which means even more guesswork is involved than in the Bluth games.

Suffers from the same flaws as Space Ace

"Ah, but the graphics and animation and sound, they're just incredible!" Tosh. The graphics are sweet, but are they really a significant improvement on the Garfield games of several years back? I don't think so. As for the animation, it's all very well if you can put up with it pausing every half-a-dozen frames as the game accesses from the hard drive, which it does with monotonous regularity.

And I'd be a lot more impressed with the lengthy speech samples if they were in any remote way synchronised to the graphics. In Roger's long monologue at the start, for example, his lips never move - he lurches through a four-frame cycle of animation, one of which involves his mouth being open. See it to believe it, I don't think.

And what of the interesting puzzle-solving gameplay? Yeah, right. Bumble around aimlessly pulling and throwing things until something ridiculous happens (cartoon logic, remember), and hey, presto, you've solved a problem. Repeat at length until you run out of time, then go back to the start and trudge through the whole thing all over again at a tortuously-slow pace until you reach the bit you were stuck at.

Plug away at it until the solution miraculously reveals itself, and go through this pantomime a few more times until you've either completed the game or been dragged away sobbing by the men in white coats. Gameplay? Don't make me laugh. This is a feeble excuse for a computer game, and if you buy it you deserve all you get. In fact, if you've already got a hard drive, it's probably worth selling the bloody thing, just so that you don't run the risk of ever having to play this.

Games reviews, just like (phew!) rock 'n' roll, are a very subjective thing. It's a fact which often gets forgotten, but the fact that Stuart's opinion of Hare Raising Havoc differs so greatly from mine proves it, I'd say. So just why do I disagree with Stuart's opinions, to the point where we both feel the need to review the game? Well. Let's start right at the beginning.

Hare Raising Havoc is a one meg only game, which adds insult to injury by requiring a hard drive (almost unbelievably, it CANNOT be played from floppies at all!), and even has a code wheel. All of this is enough to prejudice anyone against it almost immediately.

Installing the bloody thing takes forever, and the instructions don't really give much of an idea what is going on. But, having established the fact that it requires a hardware setup which most people simply don't have, it's only fair to judge it purely on its own merits. Penalising something for the hardware it requires isn't really fair.

Okay, so to the game itself. It's an 'interactive cartoon' for want of a better cliché. But that doesn't mean we're in laser disc conversion territory (no crappy Space Ace routines here - despite what Stuart might tell you). The player actually gets to control the Roger Rabbit Sprite, moving him around one location at a time, manipulating objects, in an attempt to escape.

Now the movement isn't exactly speedy, and is restricted to left, right, up and down. There's no moving into and out of the screen, for instance, and object manipulation is similarly simplistic.

Pressing the fire button near an object or piece of scenery will cause an effect (turn the cooker on/off, pick up the magnet etc). It's basically a case of trial and error to find all the necessary objects, then move and use everything in order to escape to the next screen. The ultimate objective, by the way, is to recover Baby Herman before mother gets back.

The fun lies in the experience of the whole thing

Nothing spectacular so far. But when I called the game a cartoon not one paragraph ago, I wasn't kidding. The speech and sound FX are pure Roger. Every cartoon sound effect you've ever heard accompanies every cartoon prank and mishap you've ever seen.

Sound hasn't been used as well since the wonderful Mega lo Mania (why haven't you bought a copy yet?). And then there's the animation. Genuine cartoon graphics are the order of the day here. And it all combines so beautifully. Take, for instance, when Roger rummages around in the fridge. "Dum de dum", he says, before turning around with ice on his nose and ears. "Brrrr", he shrieks, before vigorously shaking the ice away. It's heart-warming stuff (if you'll forgive the pun).

Gripes? Sure, there're quite a lot. The gameplay is seriously limited. Complete a screen and you'll never really want to do it again (and there're only seven - yes seven! - of the bleedin' things).

And then there's the disk accessing. There's a good minute's wait between each screen, but the worst comes during play. The graphics actually freeze for up to a second in places, while the hard drive chugs away (unless you've got the luxury of a whole two megs of memory), loading up the next sample or bit of animation. And when it's simply so Roger can say, "My, this is fun", it begins to grate quite seriously. Nobody is ever going to play through the whole thing more than once, and for any computer game this expensive that's a serious flaw. The gameplay is utterly basic, too, and not as interactive as it might first seem. The puzzles really are totally linear.

But there's something about this game which makes it wholly endearing anyway. When you think about it, the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a vapid exercise in nice visuals with a few good one liners - and everybody loved that. The game is actually frighteningly close in concept. And besides - I've always wanted to dabble in watercolours.

Roger Rabbit And Baby Herman In

Roger Rabbit: Hare Raising Havoc logo

If you've seen 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' you'll be pleased that, rather than producing a half-hearted platform romp, Disney have gone all the way with a cartoon quality, puzzle solving adventure.

As in the film, Roger has been left in charge of Baby Herman. A supposedly simple task, but Herman spies a huge replica milk bottle atop the neighbouring Moo Diary and decides that this would be a far more interesting playground.

Your task, as the Maroon Cartoon star, is to return the infant to his crib before mother comes home. Two things inhibit the rabbit's progress one, he's been locked in the house and the other is the steadily-decreasing time limit. Secondly, although the in-game clock has 60 minutes on it, in reality you've only got 20.

Roger has to work his way through three rooms inside the house, three scenes outside and the final challenge in the dairy. The star really earns his money, and along the way is bitten by savage mice, dogs, piranha fish and burnt, frozen, run over and drowned.

The solutions to the scenes show real imagination, and although the tasks start easily enough they become exceedingly complicated. The first scene only requires seven moves, but later stages might need anything up to twenty-five.

All the scenes require experimentation and only trial and error will see you through. If you find yourself standing on an incredibly bouncy sofa, it's necessary to find out the effect it will have on Roger. For example, jumping off the sofa onto the fan sends Roger crashing into the floor. By pushing a nearby stool into your line of trajectory, it's a safe bet that the luckless rabbit will ricochet off onto another strategically-placed utensil, and eventually out the window.

By now, having seen Roger squash into the floor and smash into walls, you begin to realise why the game is so short and covers six disks. The animation of the suicidal bunny is superb and the game contains more speech than I've heard in any game - which has been taken from the film. Also, probably in an attempt to keep you playing, Jessica, Roger's curvaceous wife, even makes a cameo appearance towards the end.

As always with animation of this quality, there's a price to pay. Although it's more playable than most, the game is reduced to simple joystick pushing akin to Dragon's Lair. The animation, despite needing at least 1 Mb and a hard disk, often stops in mid flow, disrupting the cartoon feel. It's not always obvious what to do next and going back to the beginning when the time runs out is aggravating.

That said, it's a brave attempt at an entertaining and initially amusing title. Roger stands a third of the screen high and actually looks like a slightly anorexic version of the character we all know. Even so, he moves realistically and performs his tasks in detail. If you own a hard drive, and want to impress people, HRH is a worthwhile purchase, but a readily disposable one.


Roger Rabbit became a major star, after his teaming with Bob Hoskins, and even got a spin-off mini film using the cartoon crew. There was talk of a series but it's since been put on hold. Never hearing Roger's shrill voice again is no bad thing, but if his wife's never allowed to tread the boards again, it would be a tragedy!