Naughty Tubaruba's always in trouble at school, but this time it looks really serious. He's broken a window, been caught by the headmaster and faced with expulsion unless he pays a £50 damages bill. However, if the trainee delinquent collects this amount by the end of the term he'll not only achieve good grades, he'll also wind up owning the headmaster's Ferrari.
In his financial search, Tuba passes through a series of rooms on different floors collecting money as he goes. He can move left and right, jump up or leap down in the school buildings he hates so much. To make his task that much harder, bomb-dropping angels, egg-laying ducks, deadly ball-spitting heads, octopuses, and musical instruments fly about. Contact with any of these saps energy, which is replaced by collecting the red discs found lying about the school. Should his energy level fall to zero, Tubaruba is permanently wiped off the school register.
Overactivity also depletes Tuba's energy, so to rest his legs he drives about in on of the Sinclair C5's which are conveniently distributed around the school.
Tubaruba protects himself by firing on his attackers with a concealed gun. Each kill earns a penny, but his piggy bank fills up much faster if he picks up the coins and notes which are also to be found about the premises.
Leaping up to and touching windows transports the scheming schoolkid to another part of the building where he can continue his money hunt.
Control keys: Q up, A down, O left, P right, Z/M fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: very bright
Graphics: primitive and generally small
Skill levels: one
'At last! Spectrum lovers can now have a loading system just like (dare I say it)… the good old BBC. I'm not sure I like this, but it does solve a lot of problems - and once you've finally got Tubaruba to load it isn't at all bad. The graphics are a bit basic, but they're well constructed and use lots of colour.'
'If Firebird think that this is the sort of game that Spectrum owners want then they're still living in 1984... it's absolutely appalling. The tune that plays during and after the game is atrocious - the graphics consist of some badly drawn furniture and backgrounds, and contain masses of colour, none of which is aesthetically pleasing. A complete waste of money'
|Value for Money||48%|
I expected Firebird's latest to be a flashy arcade game. After all, Thrust II was pretty fine. Instead, what I got was a lot of weird metaphysical objects bouncing up and down in front of me.
The anti-hero of this piece - called Tubaruba incidentally - is an itinerant schoolboy who has smashed a school window, collect £50 to cover the repairs and form the basis for his end of term report.
Sounds fabulous doesn't it? But when I started to play the game I was treated to a flickery stick-insect of a schoolboy sprite and a group of performing tomatoes which bounce up and down on the screen so that more by luck than judgement you get to make your first £10.
Our schoolboy finds himself in some very psychedelic otherworlds. Was he on drugs? Was there some message in the graphics which I'd missed? The answer to those questions is no. Tubaruba is just another excuse for Firebird to release any old tat on its Silver label.
Worse - I found it difficult to get past the first three screens because those alien fruit take up most of the screen. The game's play logic was all to pot, and the player character couldn't seem to move into the main part of the screen without tripping over something!
Reviewer: John Gilbert
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