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  BoneCruncher BoneCruncher - Sprite screenshot
alias Bone Cruncher
BoneCruncher - Double Barrel Screenshot
Information 5 reviews Manual Cheatcode 4 weblinks
20 screenshots Boxscan Diskscan 1 miscshot 3 conversions 22 gamemaps
Year of the first release1988LicenseCommercial
Number of disks (or CD)1PublisherSuperior Software - Worldwide
Number max of players1Budget publisher
Simultaneous max players1DeveloperTile Design
ArtistsCoder : Andreas Kemnitz
Coder : Andreas Staerkert
Musician : Michael Winterberg
Misc : Andreas Kemnitz
Language in manualEnglish
Amiga original gameno
Have cheatcodeyes
Have SPS releaseno
WHD installyesWHD information
Updated  2020-03-06 09:22:43
HD installunknownHD notes
CategoryMaze Game
SubcategoryMaze Game - Collect & Avoid
QuickmatchBoulder Dash
ScrolltypeScrolling - Horizontal
ScrolltypeScrolling - Vertical
ThemeAnimal World - Mythological Creatures - Dragons
ThemeAnimal World - Mythological Creatures - Other
ThemeAnimal World - Spiders
ThemeComedy / Humour
ThemeFantasy - Medieval
ViewpointTop Down
Conversion hardwareBBC Electron (Acorn)
BBC Micro/Electron (Acorn)
Commodore C64/128
Conversion notes

Based on 1987 Superior Software C64/128 release.

Classic compilation
Page views: 2682 - Last update: 29th February 2020
Rarity: Extremely rare Extremely rareExtremely rareExtremely rareExtremely rare

[1] Game design by Andreas Kemnitz. Amiga conversion by Andreas Staerkert and Andreas Kemnitz. Music by Michael Winterberg.

[2] In 2017, game designer/coder Andreas Kemnitz offered some insights into cross-platform development, including why BONECRUNCHER - to his mind - was unfairly written off as another BOULDER DASH or REPTON clone by some review magazines upon release back in 1987/88:

'BoneCruncher was never intended to be a clone of Boulder Dash or Repton. The gameplay is more on the puzzle/brain side, than action, even if the first level seems more like a Boulder Dash clone; it was simply to introduce the gameplay and logic within small rooms to show how the game mechanics work, very uncommon for a game made in these years to have an in-game tutorial to learn how to play.

The Boulder Dash look is similar, due to the characters being shown from their front side, instead of above, but I tried to make the graphics more interesting and that’s the only possible way to show a funny animation in these days. The gameplay becomes more advanced in higher levels and you have to calculate the gravity, prepare the underground and time your way to reach a special place to solve the level (therefore the counter had a special time, so you can arrange some work on the level, before gravity changes, its all part of the puzzles).

Most magazines that gave BoneCruncher bad reviews never recognized the different gameplay and put it in the Boulder Dash drawer. I think they only played 2-3 levels and never reached higher levels. They never used Fuzzy as a shield to block Monsters or use him to transform the Monsters into Skeletons.

BTW: it has been mentioned that spiders can be killed - that’s not possible, they can only be trapped and moved again, if space or gravity allows it. The Direction speed time must be the same on all computer versions, otherwise puzzles are a problem. Perhaps the overall movement on a particular version differs, but it has to be synchronized with Bono's movement (this was an error in the first BBC version I had tested, along with Glooks falling/rolling beside Monsters and not transforming them into skeletons, the puzzle logic was: if a Monster can’t move for a moment = RIP).

Regarding the C64 Graphics: I wanted to present the game in hires mode, so I could deliver more details in the graphics, therefore the Spectrum look. All graphics except Bono (made from sprites overlays) are changed character sets, and therefore only one colour per 8x8 pixels possible. Therefore the Creatures and Fuzzy were designed in 8x8 pixel blocks so that I could give some additional colour - and therefore Fuzzy's eyes are big too. ;)

It was the only possible way to make this game, and so no pixel-scrolling was possible; there was too much processing time needed to calculate the gravity for the complete level, because a gravity change or a Glook volcano can change everything every time. The skeleton “flesh” on the arms seems to be an error ;) It should be light or dark gray, but back in the day (1986) I had a small old colour TV and to recognize colours on the self-made editor was a pain for the eyes ;)

As far as I remember the BBC version has 2 more levels in the beginning. Levels 3 and 4 are the added levels, not in my original version and not designed by me.' [Source: Finnish Retro Game Comparison Blog (FRGCB)]


[1] BONECRUNCHER'S main character was originally a dragon named Mork, but publisher Superior Software feared it would attract unwanted attention from the American CBS network for infringing on the intellectual property of their popular 1970s/80s TV sitcom "Mork & Mindy". Consequently, the dragon's name was changed to Bono....which, ironically, at the time was - and still is - the stage name of Irish rock band U2's humongously famous lead singer! ;-)
[Source: Andreas Kemnitz (game designer/coder), courtesy of the Finnish Retro Game Comparison Blog (FRGCB)]

[2] According to the game advert, all players that successfully completed the game by the 30th April, 1988 were eligible to receive prizes including "a superb portable radio with headphones, a colourful Bono's Bathing Co. badge and a signed certificate" from publisher Superior Software (see HERE).

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