The Retro Critic


With the release of Ted in the UK this week, I promptly went in search of bear-related retro games (as you do). The thought of playing Wally Bear & The NO! Gang On the NES again proving to be too much of a hassle, I settled on Hanna-Barbera’s golden bear himself: Yogi.

Ah good old Yogi.

Never a fan of the show myself, I nevertheless occasionally watched it back in the day. It was mindless, plotless and repetitive but hey, it was a cartoon and it was on TV. I was a kid, what was I meant to do? NOT watch it? Focus on homework?

Homework lol

The first Yogi Bear game I’d ever played was Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush on the Game Boy. It hardly became one of my all-time favourites or THE most memorable game in my collection but for what it was, it was fine.

The game was a standard side-scroller where you were Yogi going around collecting picnic baskets (big shocker), gold bars and cracking safes. The plot was nonsense, even for a Yogi Bear story. Something about some ghost who stole money and because of that the park’s in trouble…

Ok, why would a ghost need money?

It’s a ghost!

Come to think of it, why would a bear wear a tie…

I used my brain on Yogi Bear lol

Anyway, the game itself was nothing special and was let down by weird, uninspired graphics and godawful music. Yogi actually looked more like Booboo, or a naked Barney Rubble.


Another Yogi Bear game I remember from back in the day was Yogi Bear’s Cartoon Capers on the Genesis and the Super Nintendo. Both were pretty much identical with only the odd sound effect or music cue sounding more Sega than Nintendo or vice versa. Another side-scroller, this was certainly a more polished effort than that Game Boy yawn-fest. It looked decent at least with detailed-enough graphics, depth and fair playability. A kids’ game for sure, it was at least colorful and somewhat involving.

That said, this was once again a surreal affair.

This time, instead of collecting picnic baskets, you hopped on top of them and instead of the standard jump attack, you killed your enemies by jumping on them WITH YOUR ASS.

This game’s all about that bear ass…

You’re basically going around Yellowstone Park trying to save it from whatever evil, no-good slime is planning to shut it down (MAN). This means you get to visit all aspects of the bloody place giving you snow, water, woods and caves to run and bum-jump through. Along the way you get to fight a random bunch of forest creatures and… supernatural freaks. Skunks, weasels, oddly low-flying birds and bats are all there to mess about with, as are living snowmen (see Jack Frost), pink bunny rabbits (see Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) and ghosts (see Ghost).

You’ll soon find out there’s something a bit lazy about this game, you get the same birds over and over but in different colors, you get more or less the same levels with the odd variation every so often and no big bosses to battle at the end of each one. You just kinda… leave the screen. The most memorable moments in this game include a mine cart sequence reminiscent of Duck Tales or Temple Of Doom (with bears and clocks), some radically different (and harder) construction site levels and beaver surfing.

Yes, I just said that.

On the whole this is a pretty unexciting play, maybe if Yogi Bear had been a more interesting character we wouldn’t have had to be stuck in that damn park but even the Game Boy game had levels like “The City” or “The Wild West”. You’ve got GHOSTS in the game, I think you can go all-out at this point! Not quite sure why we’re limited to the woods most of the time here. The gameplay is pretty smooth but swimming is awkward, the overlays get in the way sometimes and it’s easy to drop into random chasms when you’re jumping unless you’re slowly making sure not to outrun the screen.

Oh and your life bar is CAKE.

Figure that s*** out.

All in all, this isn’t a bad game but it will appeal more to less-demanding, younger players. A grown man or woman playing Yogi Bear will no doubt need a shot of adrenaline (or Jager) at some point in the game to keep them going.

I do wonder why those games were so bland though…


Well that just explains everything.