Friday, 18 November 2011

Retro Review: Toobin'

Many older games I have fond memories of span across the times when me and my brother would play a bunch of video games together. As a duo, we've played through a variety of games-many of which I can look back on fondly. Toobin' is one of those games.

Originally released in 1988 as an Atari arcade game, it has since been ported onto a number of systems, including the NesGame Boy Colour and Playstation. The game saw players taking control of Bif and Jet, two water-loving dudes who are relaxing upon one of those inflatable rubber donuts. The aim of the game was quite a simple one-navigate your chosen character down a number of different landscapes, whilst avoiding obstacles, collecting points and letters to spell "Toobin" and attempting to slow down the other player. Like any racing game, the first to make it across the finish line wins.
What I distinctly remember from Toobin' is the level designs. One minute you can be enjoying a bright jungle-like atmosphere (like the Amazon level), and suddenly, you'll seamlessly glide down a strong current into a rather sinister one (like Nightmare, and the River Styx). There are a total of 15 levels to race through, which unfortunately isn't too many, but then the game gets increasingly more difficult by the end, so you'll be playing them for a considerably long time.

As much as I love this game, there is no denying that negative aspects are evident. Firstly, the controls take a little getting used to. Biff and Jet are navigated through the water by merely pressing left and right repeatedly to build up a momentum. Whilst this may sound simple, it's definitely harder than it looks, resulting in what I feel is a somewhat clunky control system at times. Another problem is that the game play gets very samey rather quickly. Whilst this may not matter too much in multiplayer mode, there is definitely an element of tedium towards the end on single player. 

Overall, Toobin' is an enjoyable game which I have fond memories of completing as a kid with my brother. The graphics are bright and fun-looking, the enemies are  often quite scary (remember I mentioned the Nightmare and River Styx levels? That's where you'll find them), and it is a great game to play with another player. As the racing lane is rather tight, it is hard to overtake players for long before the other crashes into you, making this a pretty fun, competitive game. Sure, it may get a little repetitive and dull at times, but it's harmless fun and thankfully has considerable replay value.

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