MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Little Thingies
Windows - 1996
Description of MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Little Thingies Windows
I dunno, you spend years persuading your other half that far from being an adolescent waste of time, computer games can actually improve the mind and body. For instance strategy games improve planning and forward thinking and flight sims improve hand/eye coordination. Then they catch you playing Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies and all that hard work is undone at a blow. Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies consists of 7 'mini games' four from the previous Beavis and Butt-head hit, Virtual Stupidity and three specially written for this release. As far as I can make out, Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies is aimed at teenage Beavis and Butt-head fans so I am somewhat at a loss as to why the mighty Games Domain review allocating computer which decides who gets to review what and writes half the reviews in its spare time sent this game to me, someone who left behind his teenage years some time ago and who watched five minutes of Beavis and Butt-head when they first appeared on British TV and decided that they were a bit too puerile for even his jaded tastes. Still flexibility is the mark of the reviewer of today so with snigger on lip, let me lead you through the cornucopia of delights that is Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies.
Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies runs under windows95 in 256 colour mode. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no facility to run a front end and select the game of your choice from within it. You have to run each game separately from Windows. The games all share an opening sequence, a MTV logo type thing followed by a Viacom logo while someone wails something about 'the almighty buttholio(?)'. Amusing the first time, these soon grow far too familiar. Fortunately, a quick prod of the escape key solves the problem. Following this, there are a couple of pages of copyright and disclaimer (the "don't try this at home kids" page may be the best thing about the whole package featuring as it does a mean spot of banjo playing) and then it's straight into the games. And what games they are!
Beavis and Butt-head have carelessly dropped their candies on the sidewalk (see? I can speak American with the best of them) and bugs are running off with them. You must use the mouse to move your trusty magnifying glass over the offending insects and fry them with the Sun's rays. Guard your candies successfully for long enough and your sweet supplies will be replenished. In extremis, clicking the right mouse button will cause Beavis to stamp his foot, temporarily stunning the insects and providing an easier target. Further stomps can be gained by torching certain bugs. When all the candies are gone, the game is over. The game calls for some nifty mouse moving and frantic mouse clicking (for some reason, the sun only shines when you click the left hand mouse button) and is actually quite good fun. The bugs are nicely animated and the magnifying glass responds well to the mouse's movements.
This is probably my favourite game of the seven. Beavis and Butt-head are playing tennis but it's tennis with a difference. Beavis and Butt-head are stationed at one end of a tennis court armed with a tennis ball cannon. Their mission should they choose to accept it is to strike the other tennis players in the 'nads' with a well aimed tennis ball as they attempt to enter the court (I quote from the online documentation). The players will retaliate by throwing balls back at Beavis and Butt-head, each successful retaliation causing Beavis and Butt-head to loose a life. Every so often, a squirrel will run alone the top of the fence surrounding the court. Hit the rushing rodent and Beavis and Butt-head temporarily get possession of a rapid fire cannon. Once again, it's mouse clicking action all the way. Simply place the cross-hair using the mouse and then click left to let fly. Simple but effective.
This is where my lack of Beavis and Butt-head knowledge told against me. Beavis and Butt-head are faced with nine televisions. Gain points by changing channels from a program that sucks to a program that doesn't suck. Loose points by changing from a non-sucking program to a sucky program or by allowing sucky programs to run to completion. You can change a TV's channel simply by left clicking on the TV's screen. Unfortunately, I was unable to guess what programs would or would not suck in Beavis and Butt-head's opinion and so I did not score big at this game.
Wrecked 'em Ball
Beavis and Butt-head are at a condemned natchos factory where 'there is still cool stuff to be had' (I quote once again from the manual). Butt-head is inside dropping stuff from the windows while Beavis lurks outside to catch it. Beavis must catch the natchos and twinkies which rain down while avoiding the filing cabinets and toilet seats being dropped by the workmen. Every so often a demolition ball will swing across the screen and if Beavis doesn't duck smartly enough catch him a ringing blow on the head (the audio effects for this are amongst the finest the entire collection has to offer). Being hit by the ball or a filing cabinet depletes Beavis' health. Catching cool stuff increases it. The game is over when Beavis' health runs out. Moving the mouse left and right moves Beavis and a swift click with the right mouse button makes him duck the swinging ball.
Thank You Drive-Thru
The chaps are working in a hamburger joint. While Beavis cooks the hamburgers, Butt-head must serve them to the hungry crowd. Two queues form to the right and left of the screen and Butt-head must minimise the time each customer waits. As a customer waits to be served, a meter rises at the appropriate side of the screen. If the meter reaches the top, the boys are out of a job. In addition, the drive through window must be monitored for if the hungry motorists are kept waiting too long, they will come charging into the restaurant and beat up the hapless Butt-head. Clicking on the appropriate queue or the drive through window will serve a burger to the drooling carnivore at the head of the queue. Every so often, a rat will run across the screen and clicking on it will allow Beavis to make a rat burger. Clicking right makes Butt-head serve up a rat burger instead of a normal burger and rat burgers are so delicious and wholesome that they can satisfy a whole queue rather than just the person at the head of it. Finally, chucking a burger into the overhead fan will gross out (and clear) the entire restaurant but beware! Butt-head can only pull this stunt three times before the restaurant becomes too dirty and the boys get the bullet.
First a vocabulary lesson for those not fluent in B&B-speak.; A loogie is apparently another name for spittle, phlegm or as we in the UK would have it, a gob. Hock-a-loogie sets you the task of assuming the role of Beavis or Butt-head, climbing onto the roof of your school and causing a rain of loogies to descend on the passers by. Cars, cyclists, paper aeroplanes (?), squirrels (what do these people have against the poor old squirrel?), the school headmaster, all are grist to the boys salivary glands which must surely have a throughput approaching that of the Niagara falls. Aiming the loogie is simplicity itself. Simply move the mouse left and right to position Beavis or Butt-head and then hold down the left hand mouse button. This will make a range marker move up the screen (as well as producing a sound effect I would rather not dwell on). When everything is lines up, release the mouse button and the loogie will be dispatched towards its unsuspecting victim. Hit enough targets and you will be awarded a mega-loogie, a vile bright green monstrosity which is assigned to your right hand mouse button. In a collection not noted for its good taste, hock-a-loogie is without doubt the most tasteless of them all.
Now this is a novelty. For one thing, it's not a game, it's a device for expressing your creativity. Don't go thinking this should be in the Kids Domain though. Air Guitar easily manages to retain Beavis and Butt-head's erm unique style. At the left hand side of the screen there is a single octave piano keyboard. Clicking a key will play the appropriate note through your sound card. If this arrangement doesn't allow your artistry full rein, there is also a keyboard interface. At the right hand side of the screen are the usual selection of tape deck buttons with which to record and save your masterpiece. Finally, in the centre are the instrument buttons which offer a range of three effects, air guitar, burp and fart. There is an undeniable attraction in having the boys fart 'somewhere over the rainbow' for the edification of your peers but alas, it seems like you can only record 15 seconds of your masterpiece, hardly enough to get into the first chorus.
Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies autoruns from the CD and offers a choice of which of the games you wish to install. Installation went without a hitch and even better supplied an uninstall wizard for when the disgusting duo's attractions finally pall.
Whatever you may think of the subject matter, Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies is put together very well. The graphics are bright and colourful and look very well. Sound too is good. Each game is accompanied by a pounding rock soundtrack while Beavis and Butt-head make witty (if somewhat repetitive) comments. The games play well too. Mouse control is faultless and the difficulty of each game ramps up at just about the right level to maintain a challange. The only exception to this is Thank You Drive-thru which starts a bit slowly for my taste.
Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies comes with no paper documentation whatsoever. Well that's not quite true. There is a slip of paper in the CD jewel case which informs you that Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies will autorun when you stick the CD in the drive. The help file provided within the game is rather good. It provided the rules for the seven games (not that that takes up much disk space), help on getting the games running as fast as possible on slower machines and a glossary to some of the terms encountered in the game ('local bus video', 'squirrel' and 'loogie' for instance).
Conclusion (or 'does this game suck or what?')
Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies describes itself proudly as 'The only CD that isn't a complete waste of time'. While fearing for the financial health of the publishers should the trades description act people ever take an interest in that claim, one cannot help but admire Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies for the cheerfully irreverent and over the top attitude it sustains throughout its range of games. As I mentioned at the start of this review, I fear that in my case Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies missed its target by approximately 20 years but I could see it providing hours of entertainment and sniggering for the right crowd. In fact I must take it along to the next British Computer Society Relational Database File Format Special Interest Group meeting.
Review By GamesDomain
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