Bed Bugs (computer game)  » Games  »
3.5
1 votes
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  • At first I found it a little hard to remember everything, but in fact the game is well enough designed that after a few attempts you are likely to have the basics fairly well understood in your own mind
  • If you are using the keyboard, the fire (or swat ) key is Return, which is not my favourite option - I'd have preferred the Space bar - but seems to work acceptably well
  • I don't think you could call this a lost classic - it's not quite that good - but this is a game whose programmers clearly had a sense of fun, and that comes through pretty well

    • by fredhound
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      Bed Bugs is a computer game published by Optima Software for the Acorn BBC micro computer. Although it is quite an old title now, it still has a couple of features that make it worthy of at least a brief look. As the title suggests, your job is to combat an invasion of (among other things) bedbugs, by utilizing a variety of simple weapons - and, of course, avoiding hitting the sleeping person you are supposed to be protecting!

      The intro screen for Bed Bugs is a cut above many others for games published for this particular format. A reasonably realistic range of mountains is drawn, and then the Optima Software logo, which is roughly the shape of a sun, rises slowly above the horizon to the accompaniment of somewhat eerie sound effects. Then, a red blip moves along the mountain range and you suddenly realise that they are not mountains at all, but in fact the peaks and troughs of


      a hospital monitor After this initial shock, the picture changes to show a large double bed, and the rather concerning tag line “Just when you thought it was safe to go to sleep…” as the main part of the game loads in from the disk.

      The instruction page is quite detailed, but is fairly well presented (with a rather other-worldly theme tune playing behind it) and so it certainly pays to give it a good read. At first I found it a little hard to remember everything, but in fact the game is well enough designed that after a few attempts you are likely to have the basics fairly well understood in your own mind. It helps that there is a little bit of humour in the game, for example in the mildly silly design of some of the weapons you can use, or the animations used when the bed’s occupant is bitten (always on the feet!)

      The object of the game,


      • which I suppose has become somewhat topical again in recent times, is to destroy the fleas and bedbugs infesting your bedroom, but without allowing them to bite you. Eight bites from a flea will end the game… but the bedbugs themselves are a more formidable enemy, and a single touch of their jaws will kill you! However, you can call on weapons to help you: you can swat fleas with a jam sandwich (though you will then need a sponge to wipe off the jam!) or crunch bedbugs with a set of dentures. Finally, there is a phone on which you can call for help.

        As is usually the case with Acorn games, the control keys are Z, X, * and ?, although it is possible to use a joystick instead. If you are using the keyboard, the fire (or “swat”) key is Return, which is not my favourite option - I’d have preferred the Space bar - but seems to

        work acceptably well.This is sadly yet another game where the key assignments cannot be altered by the player. The four possible weapons are shown as icons down the left-hand side of the screen, with the main playing area being the actual bed. To squash a flea or bedbug, you must swat it while your weapon is directly over the top of it.

        Although the moving graphics in Bed Bugs are made up of pretty simple and rather small sprites, they do feel in keeping with the nature of the game. Similarly, the on-and-off sound effects and brief snatches of music fit in well with the idea of bugs flitting around here, there and everywhere. I don’t think you could call this a lost classic - it’s not quite that good - but this is a game whose programmers clearly had a sense of fun, and that comes through pretty well. It’s worth at least giving it a try if the setup intrigues you enough.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in February, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 288021415480928/k2311a028/2.8.11
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