Revenge of the Alien Bongo Beast from the Crissy Crossy Lines Dimension (ROTABB for short)

ROTABB intro screen 1 ROTABB intro screen 2
ROTABB intro screens 1&2.
ROTABB intro screen 3

ROTABB intro screen 3.
ROTABB game screen 1 ROTABB game screen 2
ROTABB game screens 1&2.
ROTABB game screen 3 ROTABB game screen 4
ROTABB game screens 3&4.
ROTABB game screen 5
ROTABB game screen 5.

ROTABB (full title is Revenge of the Alien Bongo Beast from the Crissy Crossy Lines Dimension... I can see why it is abbreviated ROTABB even on the title screen) is the 2nd commercial game by Dragon programmer Stewart Orchard, released for the Dragon 32 and 64 computers in 1989. Stewart's friend Simon Harrison, who obviously has a great sense of humour as evidenced by the background story he wrote for the game. The instructions describe the player as being Dirk Bronz-Torso, who receives a letter from a "Mr. A.B. Beast", with the following threat:

"It has come to our attention that you have not paid your Gas Bill. Failure to pay within the next 24 hours will result in your being transported into the Crissy Crossy Lines Dimension to fight millions of evil twisted aliens." (Obviously not your normal bill collector!).

And Simon was but one of the collaborators who came up with the background story, and the bizarre, almost nonsensical level names - Stewart mentions that the group of good friends had a lot of fun "dreaming up the weirdest stuff we could think of."

The game itself is much more a normal space shoot-em-up, with 15 levels (each with it's own unique boss). You can control the game through keyboard or joysticks. You can fly in any direction and you have momentum to deal with as you do so. You also have two different weapons to fire - the normal shots that take care of most of the alien ships, and the homing missiles which are required to destroy the 8 generators, shielded aliens, and the level bosses. The homing missiles are fired by a different key if you are playing with keyboard controls, or automatically when they are needed when you are playing via joystick. You can see the aliens and generators on the radar on the right side of the screen. It should be mentioned that the bosses have jamming technology that will prevent your homing missiles from homing in them until it is somewhat damaged; up until that point you must aim the homing missiles directly at them manually. The boss will come out after you destroy the 8 generators on each level.

As is traditional with a lot of UK/European games, each level has it's own name, and ROTABB is no exception. Of course, the level names are humourous to match the general theme as well (as shown on the level 1 start screenshot above). The game has a lot of polish and fine touches; the start of each level has an animated rotating globe, the game does a slow motion death effect when the player dies, and when the player loses their last life, the game over screen does a simulation of a static filled screen. It also keeps track of the top 20 scores with names.

While I did the screenshots above in typical artifact colouring that the Coco 1/2 would generate, the Dragon was a PAL based system, which would have been a much closer to pure black and white display. If you have a Coco 3 with an RGB (or monochrome) monitor, use that to play, as that is basically the type of screen the game was originally intended for. A well done Dragon (and now, Coco) original arcade game.

Title: Revenge of the Alien Bongo Beast from the Crissy Crossy Lines Dimension (ROTABB for short)

Author: Stewart Orchard

Publisher: Kouga Software

Released: 1989

Requires: Color Computer 1,2,3, 32K RAM, joystick optional.

Download cassette or disk versions here.

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