Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Platform Style
Standalone Release(s) : 1985: BOFFIN, Addictive Games, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : ADDICTIVE, 7A Richmond Hill, BOURNEMOUTH BH2 6HE
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"Features of the game: Giant Puffer-Blimps, Trampolines, Huge Tarantulas and Manta-bats, Electrified Fencing/Barbed Wire, Hydraulic Rams. 25 Caves for the Electron!"
The aim of Professor Boffin is to pass through a series of caves as quickly as possible by destroying all of the unlucky horseshoes in each cavern and then touching the resident owl, guardian of each cave.
There are two different versions of BOFFIN on the tape. BOFFIN v.2 is recorded first, followed by v.1. BOFFIN v.2 runs on the Acorn Electron and also the BBC Micro. It has 25 different caverns. The first version of BOFFIN runs on the BBC Micro and features high resolution graphics and 20 caverns - all completely different from those in BOFFIN v.2.
Playing The Game
Points are gained by destroying the tripods, petri-dishes and horseshoes. When you have completed the screen, there is a time bonus and you gain an extra life. An extra life is also achieved at every 5000 points.
There are various obstacles and creatures which will help, hinder or stop your progress through the caves. Barbed wire (low electrified fencing in BOFFIN v.2) must not be trodden on. Giant hydraulic rams must usually be jumped over because they will slam you into deadly neutron magnets embedded in the cave roofs. Giant Puffer-Blimps are dangerous and often block vital routes - however, they are only full of air and there is a 2800 point bounty on them...
Use the umbrella to break long falls and to reach objects on high ledges (espcially tripods which can only be destroyed with the umbrella). You cannot start a jump when your umbrella is raised but you can use it to control your flight in mid-air.
Trampolines provide a useful way of gaining height - try jumping up and down on the central area. The deadly massive Tarantulas lurking around in many of the caves must be given a wide berth if possible, however, if care is taken it is possible to walk safely on their backs! Manta-bats are useful allies; try walking onto the sensitive centre of their backs - when they've done their stuff, just jump off.
Both versions of BOFFIN feature full eight-name hi-score tables which include the game number with each score so you can easily keep track of your progress.
Z - Left, X - Right
<RETURN> - Jump with..., X - Raise Umbrella, > - Lower Umbrella
<COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause/Resume, Q/S - Sound Off/On, <ESCAPE> - Quit Game
Instructions' Source : BOFFIN (Addictive Games) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
Following the success of FOOTBALL MANAGER, Addictive Games has released BOFFIN. The football game was mainly strategy, but BOFFIN is pure arcade action. Professor Boffin must travel through a complex of twenty caves. I'm not sure why, but he will need your help anyway.
The route through each cave is constructed from small ledges. The professor can leap between some of these but others must be negotiated by different methods.
Each cave is littered with numerous unlucky horseshoes. The professor has to collect every one before touching the lucky owl. If you have forgotten any horseshoes then touching the owl isn't so lucky.
Movement consists of left, right and jump. The professor carries an umbrella which can be raised and lowered. The brolly is very useful when falling from great heights, and can also be used to reach high objects. As I said earlier, some ledges and even some horseshoes cannot be reached by jumping.
Fortunately the previous inhabitants of the caves were trampolining enthusiasts and they left their equipment. Great heights can be easily reached by bouncing in the centre of a trampoline. The straight up and down jumps are easy. Judging a trampoline jump sideways to a ledge takes a little more practice.
Additional points can be obtained by collecting petri dishes and tripods. An extra life is awarded for the completion of each screen and for every 50,000 points scored.
A game of this kind would not be the same without the bad guys, though there aren't that many around. The game's real difficulty lay in the actual physical layout of the screen. The only hazardous character present is an enormous tarantula. This chap is a real humdinger. He is drawn in superb detail and the characteristic jerky movement of such arachnids - not a programming defect - is impeccable.
Another quite daunting creature is the manta-bat. Thankfully these are friendly and can be used as a living escalator when you can't find a trampoline.
The ladders and levels section of the arcade market is very crowded. Fortunately for Addictive, I feel that Professor Boffin has sufficient originality to succeed against all the competition.
Jon Revis, ELECTRON USER 3. 2