Pinobee
Genre Action -> Shoot Em Up
Today's Rank 1973
Homepage
USA
Date N/A
Publisher Activision
UK
Date 2001-06-22
Publisher Activision
Pinobee's cute-as-a-button storyline, in which a famous honeybee inventor creates a Pinocchio-like robot bee but gets kidnapped before he can install its heart, makes it stand out among other 2-D side-scrolling adventure games--but its gameplay never feels particularly innovative or surprising. As mentioned, the heart-less Pinobee must rescue his doddering inventor, Grampa Bee, through several stages of insect mayhem. He can jump and cling to walls, and has a "dash" ability that lets him briefly shoot forward through the air. The gameplay involves killing enemies, collecting power-ups and flowers for energy, darting about, and navigating puzzles and traps. He has an energy meter that counts down as he moves around--flowers replenish it--and if this reaches zero he becomes sluggish. Occasionally he'll run into a fairy that grants him new dash powers and a cricket that advances the story. There's also a diary you can read between levels that gives you a synopsis of Pinobee's search for his Grampa. While the game itself features a lot of inventive takes on the 2-D adventure genre, they are, at best, merely takes on what has come before. The diary is mostly useless, due to limp writing, which is probably itself the fault of poor translation from the original Japanese text. But Pinobee's cute and inoffensive nature makes it perfect for children. Also, Pinobee has the advantage of being one of the only non-sequel launch games for the Game Boy Advance; out of all the 2-D side scrollers you'll find at launch time--and there are quite a few of them--this is the only one you haven't played before. --Andrew S. Bub
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Screenshots added: 2001-12-29
Screenshots added: 2002-01-21

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