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SummaryThis interactive Saturday morning cartoon show will tickle your funny bone
The GoodIt is amazing how many small software companies I never heard of back when I was growing up in the ‘90s, and one of them was known as The Cute Company, who helped developed a few Fisher-Price titles, such as the Schoolhouse Rock! series of games as well as Yolanda Yellsalot. In 1996, the company changed their name to Funnybone Interactive, and one of the first titles they created under their new name was Stay Tooned!.
The game starts out with a nice zoom-in on your hotel apartment where you are seen sitting in front of the TV, flicking between channels that parody classic TV shows and movies. You also get to watch some entertaining, featuring all the characters that you meet in the game, with some of them telling you about the red button that you need to push. When you do, the characters come out of the TV to wreak havoc, with one of them stealing the remote off you.
You are then told to find it to put the toons back into the TV, and to do so, you have to search each apartment in the hotel. But first, you need to find the password that unlocks your door. There are twenty apartments spread over five floors, with hidden rooms on some of these floors. Traveling between floors involves the elevator, but you can’t access the fifth floor yet due to reasons that are explained to you later. Just to make sure you are not confused, each hallway has a map that tells you which of the apartments you have yet to visit. Apart from yours, each apartment is basically a hand-painted background, with several objects you can click on that will trigger some sort of animation or give you a gold key that will unlock other apartments. These keys help you unlock other apartments in the game, and can also be collected by doing good deeds such as feeding Fiddle or preventing Katrina from being blown up.
A few apartments even have mini-games that you can play. They act like real arcade games, complete with instructions and high score tables. In my opinion, the best one of these is Toon Boy. It has an actual ending, and it is a game that I find myself coming back to once in a while. Other games that you can play are parodies of popular arcade titles from Atari. Stay Tooned! is supplied with 3-D glasses, and a few of the games utilize them. In one game where you get to play table tennis with Chisel, and you can actually see the ball jump out of your monitor.
All the backgrounds and characters are done in Macromedia Director, an animation tool quite popular in the Nineties. As a result, not only have they got the same quality as Funnybone’s previous titles, they are even right up there with your Saturday morning cartoons. Each scene boasts great animations and jokes. Most of these jokes involve the cursor, and a classic example is where Pixel steals it and tosses it to Scoops. You then have to slam him against two walls so that he coughs it back up.
Most of the music consists of short loops which I don’t have a problem with. The background music for the hallways lasts for about ten seconds, paving the way for a short animation plays. Mostly all the characters have their own musical numbers. I enjoyed listening to ‘Where ya at, Mr. Fiddle’. It has that rap feel to it. As for the sound effects, they are the usual cartoon-style ones.
I could tell that Stay Tooned! was originally designed on the Macintosh. There are references to Ctrl-Click, and one of the jokes involve the Mac “system error” dialog box. I have no idea why Apple didn’t embrace two mouse buttons in the past, but I digress.
When you complete the game, you are encouraged to go back and play the game again because things are not in the same place as they were before, and you might have to do different tasks. Furthermore, there may be some animations that you never witnessed before. When I first played the game, I had to deal with the cable guy before I could access the fifth floor. The second time I had to find the missing elevator button before I could get to that floor. Also, I certainly had no idea the pterodactyl baby had a mother looking for him.
The BadUpon entering certain scenes, one of the characters appear and use something that causes the top half of the scene to shatter into pieces, and you must put the pieces back together to continue. I found this tedious since I spent almost five minutes trying to find out where everything goes.
Some versions of the game have a bug where the audio that belongs to an earlier video clip wouldn’t play at first, then corrects itself after that.