The Game: As beleaguered caveman B.C., you’ve just discovered the wheel. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, on the same day that you harness mechanical motion for the first time, you’re also going to discover the traffic accident. Jump over holes in the ground, rocks and rolling boulders, and duck under tree limbs – and then you’ve got to survive showing your new evolutionary step off to the Mrs.! (Sierra On-Line, 1983)
Memories: B.C.’s Quest For Tires is one of those games that immediately brings the word “Colecovision” to mind – it was a striking game for its day, and this was the platform where it truly excelled (though it was also available on several home computers as well). Johnny Hart’s comic strip wasn’t quite in the Garfield stratosphere of daily newspaper comics, but it was popular enough that its characters would seem familiar.
And if its characters didn’t, the game and its various levels certainly did. B.C.’s Quest For Tires is essentially a riff on elements of popular coin-ops such as Jungle Hunt and Moon Patrol, remodeled to fit the comic’s characters. There’s even a hint of Pitfall! as B.C. must hop across the backs of several sea creatures while avoiding his club-swinging wife (please note that this doesn’t mean that she’s an avid golfer).
Still, that’s offset by the licensed characters, and they’re represented well here. Even if you weren’t a regular reader of B.C. (and I never really was), the characters and the situation are familiar enough. The graphics may not quite be up to Smurf: Rescue From Gargamel’s Castle standards, but they’re nicely done and animated all the same. The control scheme is remarkably easy to get a handle on.
B.C.’s Quest may not have been anything excitingly new in terms of game play (and even in terms of the whole character-licensing realm, it had been beaten to the punch by games like the aforementioned Smurf), but it wasn’t a bad way to spend some time on the Colecovision.