I have owned Bluprint since I was a kid and I remember being very frustrated playing it for one reason, the game is part maze game (it has multiple parts) and at the very start, they very quickly tell you what houses in the maze you need to visit. Sometimes, I would be on the ball and remember exactly where to go, but sometimes my attention would lapse (I was a kid) and then the game became a painful round of trial and error as I went from wrong house to wrong house. Each time you do that, you have to scramble back and dispose of a bomb.

That aside, the game is well made and visually interesting. Your goal is to assemble a weapon that can help save your girlfriend from some fiend who is chasing her. The manual of course makes it seem a lot more interesting:

That nasty old troll, Ollie Ogre, is at it again. He is chasing poor Daisy Damsel all across the neighborhood! So what are you waiting for, hero? Get out there and stop him! You have the blueprint (plans) for the only contraption that can knock him off. All you need now are the parts with which you build it and they’re hidden in the houses of the neighborhood. What you don’t need are the bombs you may pick up and encounters with fiendish Fuzzy Wuzzy! But if you complete your contraption in time you’ll be able to stop Ollie and save Daisy!

You finish the contraption/weapon, fire its slow moving bullet at Ollie and win the day. Well at least that level. Do it and move on to the next. Each level you proceed to gets more difficult.

For a VCS game there is a lot going on here — Mazes, building weapons, bomb drops and a boss screen of sorts. And through the game you have decent gameplay sound, music and the graphics do look like what they are intended to be. It sounds good on paper and for the first few times you play it, and upon further replay as an adult I was surprised with how complex the game turned out to be and my attention span is better so I was able to memorize the house a little bit better, thus reducing the bomb finding grind.

I want to say that makes this game a classic, but it doesn’t do it for me. The memory game, is still just that and the rest of the gameplay, while complex for the VCS, is not very compelling. It feels pieced together, like a franken-game that is not greater than the sum of its parts. Plus the music, which at first seems like a real treat is just an infinite loop that gets distracting when you are trying to focus on figuring out the layout of the neighborhood or trying to time your shot on the weird looking slow weapon.

Blueprint has its charms, but it does not hold up to repetitive play and I think adult me will concur with younger me and tell you that his game is a bit of a dud. I/We give it 2 out of 5 stars after your have played it 4 times or until the novelty wears off. (3 stars for the first 4 or so games)

Gameplay Video

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. jrbooth

    I had this: I seem to remember being able to beat levels one and two (when you only had to find 3 and 5 pieces of the gun, respectively, if I recall correctly), but not being able to successfully reassemble the gun once all 8 pieces were in play. And yes, the music stays in your head for days.

  2. The Retroist

    Yeah once you hit levels 5+ it becomes very difficult. Not impossible, but a lot less fun.

  3. VicSage

    I remember being pretty gung-ho to get this cartridge when I was younger, the game certainly sounds interesting though even with it’s faults. Great review!

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