The 16-bit platformer wars of 1993-1995 were marked by an explosion of new colorful animal mascots with attitude such as Aero the Acrobat, Awesome Possum, and Bubsy the Bobcat. These characters all fell to the wayside once the dust settled, but now a decade after Bubsy's brief rise to fame comes word of just what happened to the bobcat with more quips than a $1 joke book. In an interview with Gamasutra, Bubsy's creator, Michael Berlyn, takes us through the life and times of Bubsy the Bobcat.
"[Accolade] had put out Bubsy 2," he said, "and just about killed the franchise. So we came on-board and did Bubsy 3D." That game, one of the first experiments in bringing platform game design to a 3D world, shipped at just about the same time as a little game called Super Mario 64. "I took one look at Mario and said, 'Oh, crap.'" he said. On its own, the game may have had its chance with early 3D adopters, but it just couldn't keep up with its now-legendary competition.
Bubsy almost came back to life for a Sony PlayStation title, but Sony was more interested in marketing Crash Bandicoot than a bobcat with a spotty track record. It's a shame. The original Bubsy: Claws Encounters Of The Furred Kind for the Super NES and Sega Genesis had it's problems, but it was quite fun for the time. The game followed Bubsy through a selection of themed levels (forest, amusement park, wild west, etc.) in his quest to defeat the alien invaders (the Woolies) from the planet Rayon and the twin queens Poly and Ester from stealing all of Earth's yarn. The sequel was terrible, as was the pilot for a Saturday morning cartoon, but there's still that original game that's worth keeping. It has just the right mix of offbeat humor, sarcasm, and frustration that makes it an unsung classic. Consider picking it up if you ever find it in a used game bin.