capsule review

Bud Redhead

If you long for side-scrolling arcade games like Sonic the Hedgehog, you should check out Bud Redhead, a recently released shareware title from Phelios Software. Featuring fast-paced action and whimsical graphics, Bud Redhead is a lighthearted game with some classic flavor.

Bud Redhead is out with his girl-friend when Feyatta—a greenish, feline-looking alien on the run from galactic authorities—absconds with her. As any good hero would, Bud immediately sets off to rescue his love. In the process, he travels through four different worlds, including a primeval forest, ancient Egypt, medieval castles, and a futuristic spaceship. Each world has five levels, including secret areas. To pass through each level, Bud has to collect coins that unlock a star gate (a game element heavily influenced by the movies and TV show of the same name).

Admittedly, Bud Redhead has a flimsy story and hackneyed plot. But this simple little gem is fun, and it has the perfect setting. You make Bud jump and run through imaginatively crafted levels chock-full of goodies to collect and foes to either avoid or dispatch. You vanquish your foes by using a pair of nifty antigravity shoes to bounce on them. Some of the levels and pitfalls, however, are challenging to the point of frustration.

My main complaint is with the game’s clunky, console-like save-game system, which requires that you restart either from the beginning of a level or at a checkpoint. This limits the game’s potential. Bud Redhead is a great diversion when you’ve got a few minutes at lunch or between meetings; it’d be great if you could simply save wherever you happened to be.

The Bottom Line Bud Redhead offers a return to the good old days of the early 1990s, when Sonic and the Mario Brothers ruled the world. Gamers looking for an homage to those classic titles should check it out. l

Bud Redhead takes a page from classic side-scrolling games such as Super Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog.
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