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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Bonk's Adventure: Bonk vs. the Volcano
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2010   |   Episode 18 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Bonk's Adventure: Bonk vs. the Volcano
[ Console: TurboGrafx-16 | Year: 1990 | Grade: D+ ]

This isn't going to end well!
The Context: A caveman's life is hard work. If Bonk's Adventure is to be believed, a caveman had to fight off dinosaurs, scrounge up food to eat and play some of the lamest (and most baffling) bonus stages known the prehistoric man. But let's get a HEAD of ourselves (get it?), because Bonk also has to contend with lava pits, platforming puzzles and an underground maze that puts our subways to shame. To help relieve the stress of being a caveman, Bonk spends some of his time competing in a number of weird bonus stages hidden around the world.

The Rules: After battling dinosaurs and deadly plant life, Bonk must battle his most dangerous foe yet -- a volcano! As the volcano erupts, it sends bits of hot lava rocks and debris into

With a great cast of characters, a cool setting and a prehistoric hero, Bonk's Adventure would have made a terrible 3D game!
the air. It's Bonks job to literally head-butt this debris, sending it across the level. But he shouldn't worry too much about hitting every hot rock, because the lava seems to pass right through the ground. And besides, it's not like this debris is going to screw up the world, Bonk's home is already flooded with lava.

The Verdict: Nobody is going to accuse Bonk of being sophisticated, so don't get your hopes up for a deep or involving bonus stage. The idea of batting lava away is certainly novel, but it's ultimately pointless and definitely not much fun. This bonus level helps highlight the shallowness of the Bonk franchise. While Mario and

In the prehistoric days, lava was clearly less powerful than it is today!
Sonic are full of creative solutions to problems, Bonk fixes every problem with his head ... mostly slamming it into stuff. As a gameplay mechanic it's fine, but part of me yearns for more from my games (and bonus rounds).

Completely Missing the Point: Not to get too technical or anything, but there's no way Bonk would be able to smack away flying wags of lava with his bare head. Yes, I know he has a large caveman head and it's supposedly super strong, but he's still a human being. Even if he's still evolving (much to the chagrin of my religious friends), Bonk is still made of flesh and bones. Lava can be as hot as 1,300 to 2,200 Fahrenheit degrees, which is more than enough to melt right through skin AND bone on contact. Batting these bits of lava away with your body part is bad news, even if you're a brave little caveman.
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