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Urban Yeti  (GBA)
by Telegames

Reviewer: Tha Wiz
Review Date: 09/28/2002

The big city, a motion captured Yeti, and one of the most unique games ever.

Click for screen shot 1 of Urban Yeti Click for screen shot 2 of Urban Yeti
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Urban Yeti
GZ Review Ratings:
 Gameplay  7.4
 Graphics  8.0
 Sound  8.5
 Difficulty  Easy
 Concept  9.1
 Overall  7.5

Reviewer's Scoring Details

All Reviews for Urban Yeti

Let’s talk about “Myth” for a moment. Myths can best be described as things that are rumored to be true, but can’t be proved real or fake due to lack of evidence. Things like Loch Ness, UFO’s, and the possibility of a decent Artdink game are rumored to exist, but to this day remain a myth. So, what happens when a myth becomes reality and tries to blend in with everyday human life? CaveBarn studios has released “Urban Yeti” to give us an idea, and the results are pretty wacky indeed!


Urban Yeti puts you in control of, well, a Yeti who has strayed into the big city apparently looking to just have a normal life, find a mate, and raise a family … just like any of us. City life is a lot different than life in the mountains or the forest of course, and the Urban Yeti soon finds this out the hard way. Along his journeys to find that special someone, Yeti will have to avoid angry homeless people, paranoid kids, trigger happy cops, a pigeon who apparently has a bowel problem, and city traffic … all which isn’t as easy as it sounds.


The controls to Urban Yeti are very simple to use and learn, which makes it a good game to jump right into from a gameplay perspective. The control pad moves Yeti around, and the A and B buttons will cause him to swing his massive arms to repel or KO would be attackers, send dogs flying, or smash dumpsters in search of hot dogs. If you get surrounded, the L button will cause Yeti to let out his terrifying scream and send everyone running for cover!


I think it’s important to say at this point that Urban Yeti definitely stands out in the creativity department. The majority of the game will be spent moving around the four parts of the city in a top down perspective similar to that of Grand Theft Auto I and II performing various tasks and mini games, which really stand out in the fact that they are fun and downright funny at times. Yeti will have to work in a soup kitchen, go toobin down a sewer, and hunt down another male Yeti in a battle to claim his territory and take his mate … just to name a few. The mini games play out like older gaming classics, like Tapper, Tron, and Toobin … which causes a smile to us O.G.’s (Original Gamers) who threw away milk money or allowance playing them back in the day.


There were a couple of things in Urban Yeti which took it down a notch overall, but couldn’t be overlooked. The first is collision detection. It was there … not all the time, but enough to be annoying at certain moments. There are a lot of ways that Urban Yeti can get hurt or killed, like bullets, getting punched, or getting pooped on by that pesky pigeon, which means you need to keep moving. Getting stuck between a wall and a pedestrian doesn't help in that sense, nor does it help when you get stuck on an object and can’t move while you rotate in circles punching and trying to break free. The mini games were free and clear of any of this thankfully.


The second issue is the game length. Each city section isn’t huge, which means that the things that have to be done can be accomplished with a few good minutes of hunting and searching around either on the street or on building tops. There are some items here and there to be found which are extras, like boom boxes (ever see when Michael Jackson starts dancing and the whole street starts dancing with him? Yeti can cut a SERIOUS rug too, FYI) but if you’re just looking to get through it, it isn’t going to take too long. On a length note, the mini games can be played one time, with no option to go in and just play those on their own, which I would have really enjoyed doing more of. You can use your game password to get in and play them, but an option to increase or decrease difficulty or time limit and do them separately would have been a lot of fun. 


Graphically, the game was a little pixeled with close up objects. For the most part, it looked pretty good, and the characters in the city … and Yeti too of course (Since he was a motion captured Yeti after all!) move smooth and were composed of a number of animation frames. The mini games looked good as well, and everything ran with no slowdown due to on screen action. Soundwise, Yeti screams and the surprised shouts of the city’s population sounded very good. The background music was a little repetitive, but set an exciting tone overall and didn’t really take away from anything.


Overall, I’d have to say that Urban Yeti was a fun, if short, gaming experience … but one that I  wanted more of. I definitely applaud CaveBarn in their creation of a game that is unique, funny, and something different than the normal “been there done that” that we gamers run into so often these days. Hopefully a sequel addressing the issues will hit the stores sometime in the future. In the meantime, get ready to Yeti!


Gameplay: 7.4
Urban Yeti was easy to maneuver around, and got into some of the wackiest predicaments that you can possibly imagine! Great mini games patterned after older arcade titles, but being able to play them separately would have been better. While the game ran and looked smooth, the periodic collision detection issues caused some frustration here and there. A lot of fun, but way too short as well with no real replay value.   


Graphics: 8.0
Overall, looked good. Moved well, no slowdown … but some objects were pixeled and a little clunky at close range.


Sound: 8.5
Good city sounds and voices. The music wasn’t bad at all, but was a little repetitive at times. 


Difficulty: Easy
Anyone who has played GTA or GTAII will feel right at home here, since most of the game is in this mode. There is some hunting and searching, but has arrows to point you in the direction you need to move and isn’t too hard to find your way around.  


Concept: 9.1
This is definitely one of the most creative and well thought out game titles out there. It definitely does a lot, and I have a hard time defining what category exactly it fits into. Thumbs up to CaveBarn on this one.

Overall: 7.5
The score here was based on two things which stood out to me that could have made Urban Yeti a top selection ... length and lack of replay value. If you’re going to pick this up, be prepared for one of the most bizarre and fun titles out there, with some funny as heck moments and cool mini games which will get you cracking up as well, but also know that it may not last in the long run.   

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