Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back!

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back! Game Poster Image
Short, repetitive platformer barely amuses in small bursts.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Standing up to bad guys, protecting planetary resources.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play a bobcat named Bubsy, a wise-talking protagonist who wants to rid world of menacing aliens known as Woolies. He's an admirable character, wants to protect Earth, retrieve what's rightfully his -- but he's sassy, smart-alecky.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn, occasional problems during gameplay.

Violence & Scariness

Mild fantasy violence, such as hopping on, destroying aliens, sharks, other creatures that stand in his way. Not realistic, bloody, gory. 

Language
Consumerism

Based on Bubsy character, who has appeared in games since 1993. Some DLC (downloadable content) planned, but will be free.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back! is a action platformer. It's about a cartoon bobcat who takes on aliens and other rivals to retrieve his coveted golden ball of yarn, and to help protect the world from an alien race. It has very little cartoon violence, with Bubsy bouncing off enemies to defeat them. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

In BUBSY: THE WOOLIES STRIKE BACK!, the no-good aliens known as the Woolies have returned to steal all of Earth's yarn. In fact, they also stole Bubsy's prized golden ball of yarn. The story surrounds collecting up the yarn before it can be taken, fighting off the Woolies (and other creatures) across multiple environments, and retrieving what was rightfully his. The game is a classic 2-D (or, to be more specific, a 2.5D) side-scroller, that has Bubsy running, jumping, climbing, gliding, and bouncing mostly from the left side of the screen to the right, across 14 single-player levels, confronting boss characters along the way.

Is it any good?

This platformer is a lackluster throwback to this once-popular genre, even with patches released to address technical issues scattered across the game. The action grows tiring after a short while, with bland levels, outdated visuals, and not a lot of gameplay here (though the developers say they'll add more with a free DLC update). Bubsy gets more fun as you begin to chain your moves together to tackle more challenging levels and obstacles, such as climbing, jumping and then gliding to a spot on the map to pick up a shirt (power-up) which gives you extra lives. (Gliding is one of the hallmarks of this franchise, and will require you master the move, especially when in vertical chasms.) Aiming can be tough, though, so it'll take some practice for more novice or younger players. It isn't a complete disaster -- it can be fun to glide atop Woolies and bounce to destroy them, or take on sharks as you carefully navigate the level -- but overall, this short cartoon side-scroller isn't worth your time and money. Perhaps if you're a huge fan of the series and miss this genre dearly, it might be a mediocre investment, but it's mostly a forgettable retro adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about perseverance. What keeps you going when a difficult task is presented? Can you use this motivation in these games and in real life?

  • Talk about games with mascots. Do you like playing games with these colorful characters, even though they aren't as popular as they once were? Why do you think designers have moved away from this kind of game?

Game details

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