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Baldies (Jaguar CD) artwork

Baldies (Jaguar CD) review


"Bald is (not so) beautiful."


he Jag-CD’s diverse library of eleven titles was as bland and unreliable as the unit itself. With the advent of CD multimedia technology, full motion video and the new phase of interactive entertainment , a playground of “ experimental” releases using new creative tools to enhance the experience of gaming. Of course, the entire era in retrospective was deemed as a failure, with only a handful of these interactive video titles achieving either cult status, critical derision or even mass hysteria.

Aside from a handful of these, The Jaguar CD library was a gallery of mediocrity and fizzled out creative drive with Baldies having the honour of being one of the most playable and unique games on the system but still failing to make any impact whatsoever. Its only purpose to fulfil the curiosity of electronic archaeologists who dare to journey into the void and with many new and sealed copies floating around the online market, it’s even failed at that.

Baldies sums up the creative apathy of the CD unit itself. The bright visual palette and relaxing ambience are intriguing invites into a surreal world of violent ethnic cleansing, unethical animal sacrifice and homosexual orgies (Almost sounds like a Christian inspired end of days narrative, doesn’t it?) Now, all of those things occur in this game and are arguably enough to grab your attention but even then, meh...

An overhead strategy title playing similar to games like “Theme Park” but noticeably lacking the accessibility, Baldies throws you into the deep end instantly. You oversee a small cottage with a handful of bald men aimlessly marching around it. These men are your Baldies and with their red dungarees they are your “breeder” Baldies. An option on the sidebar allows you to transform each individual Baldy into one of three other types at any time . The blue Baldies are your construction workers, who will build new houses and extensions of your houses , the green Baldies are your soldiers and the white Baldies are scientists. Left alone, they will wander aimlessly but when placed into the house, they will set things in motion.

Each type of Baldy will have his own work to do. Scientists will study and create different devices for extermination, soldier Baldies will create guns and grenades for warfare, worker Baldies will maintain and build extensions and red Baldies stay in the bedroom and, erm, reproduce. Yes, in order to “breed” more Baldies, two male Baldies must be placed in a bedroom together and over time, will create more red Baldies.

You can allow Blue Baldies to build more houses to accommodate your spawn which will change based upon the types of dwellers. Science Labs will require you to drop animal critters who populate the wilderness for brutal animal testing which in turn will create booby traps for invading enemy forces and military Baldies will create Barracks for your small but deadly M.I.C. Once you have gathered a thriving community, you can wage war on your opponents.

Your enemies are the “Hairies”, who will usually live on the far end of the map. Using an in build level editor, you can instantly fill up areas of water to send in your troops to eradicate those filthy hippies. The ability to instantly change the role of your Baldies allows even the most peaceful scientist into a bloodthirsty warlord. By using fists, guns and grenades your army of Skinheads can wipe out those filthy hippies off the face of the earth. Even better still, with four houses built by your worker Baldies, your Bald Bruisers will grow wings and will destroy your enemies from above. Once this is done, your mission is over. However, with over 100 levels across realms of grass, fire and ice, your campaign of destruction is far from over.

Strangely enough, this game works its own bizarre way but its perhaps only noticeable for being a quirky title in a small library of dreary sci-fi shooters and FMV titles. It works as a game and stands out with its unusual charm but is held back by its confusing surreal layout and slightly skeletal structure. Unlike Bullfrog games made in the same vein, the learning curve is more of a learning line into a brick wall you have to stumble over while you juggle with ideas that were developed by throwing bizarre concepts together and praying that they work. It simply sits as starting staple for Jaguar CD collectors and a forgettable title for everyone else.

3/5

Vorty's avatar
Community review by Vorty (December 04, 2015)

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Vorty posted December 04, 2015:

First in a while. any good?
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honestgamer posted December 04, 2015:

You certainly picked an interesting game to review! It's good to see you around these parts again, Vorty. To answer your question, there were a number of rough edges here (missing words, punctuation, and even a missing letter right at the start of the review, along with some other minor hitches), but that's the sort of thing a person might naturally expect given the length of your hiatus. None of that prevented you from putting together a helpful review for a game I previously knew nothing about, and I'm glad you shared it here!
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Vorty posted December 04, 2015:

will proof read it again. sorry, I suck at this. I've been collecting Jag and Jag CD games so I plan on reviewing some more

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