Originally created 08/09/99

Bad camera angles makes Bugs' new game difficult

Bugs Bunny, that irrepressible cartoon rabbit who has been driving Elmer Fudd crazy since the dawn of time, is back in a new game that should appeal to most gamers -- as long as the gamer is under 10.

In Infogrames' Bugs Bunny -- Lost in Time for the PlayStation, our hero is burrowing toward Pismo Beach when he blunders into a laboratory and accidentally triggers a time machine that launches him back, back, back. ...

Bugs must work his way through five eras, collecting enough clocks to get home while dealing with a bunch of other cartoon characters -- Fudd, Witch Hazel, Yosemite Sam, Rocky and Marvin the Martian.

While the concept is great, and Bugs is his usual rascally self, Infogrames bought a bunny in a bag here. There's a serious problem with this game, so let's get it out of the way right off.

Bad camera angles. Really bad camera angles. Totally worthless camera angles.

The best video games always put you in position to see what has to be done, then let you try to do it. But in Bugs, the view is frequently so far off that you can't see what you have to do, or can't get Bugs lined up to do it.

And that leads, of course, to incredible frustration, lost lives and general angst. To give the game some credit, you can rotate the camera with the shoulder buttons, although even that doesn't always work. The game should have been designed to make control almost automatic, not a roadblock that you have to work around.

Enough carping. Bugs starts his quest in the Stone Age, and must visit Medieval Times, Pirate Years, the 1930s and Dimension X before he can return to the West Coast.

As he travels, Bugs collects a variety of items, including carrots, which keep Bugs running; golden carrots, which permit access to bonus levels if you collect enough; and clocks, which let you move to the next level.

Bugs also gets information along the way from signs, which provide hints on how to accomplish tasks. And there are some puzzle aspects to the game, where Bugs has to move things around to reach things he needs.

Graphics are adequate, with large blocks of bright color and limited detail. Sound is OK, but hardly top-of-the-line.

So is Bugs worth your hard-earned cash? There are so few games aimed at the junior set that I hesitate to turn thumbs down. But by the time the tots have been at this for an hour or two, they'll be so frustrated they'll be swinging from the curtains and babbling like loons.

Rent it first.

Bugs Bunny -- Lost in Time is rated E, for all ages.


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