Dr. Bunsen Honeydew has developed this CD-ROM with his normal care and attention to detail. This, of course, means that the first thing that the game does is explode; sending bits of data everywhere. The start of the game is, in effect, heartstopping. Even when you know that it is delibrate, you still have that pause that says "URGHHHH!"
The game is composed 7 different mini-games, and various events that can happen to you while on the data-bus. The mini-games are great fun, I love Beaker's Brain segments. The only problem is that in theory, this should be a good game to boot to play only briefly. The just-one-more bug seems to always get me when in this game. ("I'll just play this one more thing, then I'll quit.")
The CD-ROM also includes a Muppetizer, which will install a number of sounds (and a Muppet sound scheme), wallpaper and new cursors for your Win95 system. I've replaced all the standard cursors with Muppet ones, they are much more interesting to work with. The wallpaper will add a lot of interest (and usually colour) to your desktop. There are quite a few sounds and you can use them as you will to make your PC a bit more entertaining.
Humour in the game is a combination of classics from Muppet Show and computer geek humour (you travel in the data bus just for a start, then there is the guy who walks by with an E on his chest...yes, there went e-male).
Whenever you start the game, you are cheerily greeted by one of the Muppets trapped inside your computer. From there, you will enter the data bus to decide where you will be going next. When in the data bus, you click the bitmap to bring up the locations of folders. Click on a folder to travel to that blockage. Each folder represents a game and you must win the game to clear the blockage. There are also a number of Muppets scattered across the bitmap, they will be found in buildings instead of folders. To complete the entire game you must clear every blockage, and you must rescue every trapped Muppet.
The games you will need to play to clear the blockages are:
Trivial but True. The Muppets with your host Kermit the Frog meets Hollywood Squares. Except the trivia for this game is really amazingly trivial.
The Swedish Chef's Kitchen of Doom. The Swedish Chef, armed only with a kitchen appliance, must escape before the food gets revenge!
Beaker's Brain. Unscramble Beaker's memory about a Muppet Labs experiment.
Super Gonzo. Blast Gonzo out of a cannon and through a target across the stage. There may be some obstacles to avoid, but if you fail, that's ok, Gonzo likes pain.
Scope that Song. Can you identify a song in 5 to 10 notes as played by Marvin Suggs or Lew Zealand?
Fozzie Bear Wocka on the Wild Side. Help Fozzie cross the stage in front of a very hostile (and well prepared) audience.
Statler and Waldorf's Two Thumbs Down. Unscramble images from The Worst of the Muppet Show (as seen by those two elderly gentlemen). Be warned, Crazy Harry is around and will scramble nearby squares again.
One thing which is particularly nice about this game overall is that you can set the level of difficulty very easily. In the data bus, you change gears to change the level of game play. When you reach a new folder, it opens to reveal a game title. I play Beaker's Brain at the expert level, but prefer to play Swedish Chef's kitchen of Doom at the adult level. I'm not sure that level has much to do with some games, Trivial but True wouldn't appear to change much.
While on the data bus you may; click the interior mirror to see which Muppets are on the bus, click the radio to listen to a classic clip from the Muppet Show, use the gear shift to change levels, use the on/off switch to leave the game, and use the bitmap to travel around the computer. Folders may have game icons on them, if the icons are flashing, the game has yet to be completed. Also, while on the bus, you may get messages on the bitmap screen and you may see items fly by the bus. Try to click on them, they are either clips from the show, or items that were used in the show; stage light, a melon (with many bad puns in the description), etc.
I've twice had the sound stop when in the Beaker's Brain section. It is very *very* difficult to arrange clips when you can't hear anything. The problem vanishes promptly when I return to the data bus.
Some sections could use a bit more variety in the dialogue. I'm getting a bit tired of certain comments in some sections (the worst offender is Scope that Song.) You can skip the comments, usually by clicking the mouse, but I'd rather have a few more things to laugh at.
If you loved the Muppet Show, you must own this game now. Really! It includes many of the best clips from the Muppet show. The humour and sense of style well matches the subject material.
This game is good enough that the non-Muppet-Fanatic has also been playing it. Some bits of the game are easier if you remember the Muppet Show well, but they usually have enough clues that they can be finished without that knowledge. Actually, the other half the household doesn't normally play computer games. He's making an exception for this one.
It took this CD-ROM to finally get me to install Windows 95 on my system. It was worth it.
I love some of the little things that really add to this game. One of the cursors is an hourglass who taps his toe and checks his watch while acting as an hourglass. You are greeted cheerfully when you start the game, there are a number of comments and events that are specific to the game and not The Muppet Show, and you will even get your birthday remembered!
Another enjoyable game for Muppet fans everywhere is Muppet Treasure Island. The dialogue is new to the game, so is worth checking out. MTI is more of a children's adventure game, and is in a different style to this one. But it is still silly and entertaining.