Embark on colourful and animated quest for the hidden wonders of the world. You are Bush Buck: Global Treasure Hunter. A corrupt clutch of collectors led by Otto Von Slinkenrat plans to pilfer more than 400 of the Earth’s priceless treasures, scattered in Clandestine locations across the planet. Your mission? Jet across the globe, dodging blizzards, cyclones and sabotage – to recover these obscure oddities and rare objects before Von Slinkenrat can usurp then into his own private gallery…
~ Official Magazine Advert
Bush Buck: Global Treasure Hunter was perhaps one of the first games I ever played. I grew up playing it with my family huddled around our little IBM 286 computer as we fought over who would find the treasure first. I have many fond memories deciphering clues while finding artefacts from all over the world and I think it definitely improved both me and my sister's understanding of geography growing up.
Created in 1991 by PC Globe Inc, who had previously created the self-titled leading world atlas software, the company decided to shift into interactive edutainment with an underrated strategy game called Bush Buck. Players either work against each other or take on the AI characters of Pierre, Natasha or Otto von Slinkenrat, the latter of which is the leader of these corrupt collectors and will be your most difficult foe. Their taunts mock you as you play making your victory all the sweeter if you actually beat them.
Upon selecting your difficulty the game starts you in a random global city of a possible 206. You receive a mysterious letter tasking you with finding an initial five artefacts. With 60 tickets to start with (on the easiest difficulty at least) these allow you fly towards the city where you think an artefact is located. There are no direct flights only short hops to nearby locales. You need to slowly edge your way to where you need to go, gathering information on your route, but plan your path carefully as your opponent will be hot on your tail and a poorly planned journey could result in missing out on your prize!
Each city you land in will give you a snippet of trivia from that country and I recommend paying close attention to what is written as this information will tie into clues on future excursions. Some cities will be highlighted with a red box, landing on those will provide you with clues to an artefact’s locations. Be careful though, as your opponent will also see these clues and you may inadvertently end up helping them more than yourself.
Once you've found your artefact you are awarded with a success screen telling you more information about it - this is an educational title after all. From there you then need to make the decision to either take the artefact back to your home city and bank the points or continue your globetrotting to bring in a greater haul and with it a larger point total for the leader board. Personally, I always want to get a good haul before heading back.
Sounds relatively simple, but also standing in your way are a variety of adverse weather conditions that could hamper your flights. A particularly nasty storm could result in you being sent back to your original location and having tickets deducted to cover plane damage. Additionally, if you are carrying artefacts onboard you could damage them resulting in fewer points when you turn them in. Many times I would be left frustrated as I set off to the location where I knew an artefact was, only to have my plane re-directed back as it was not able to make it through the storm. What made matters worse when playing against my sister - which we often did - was when she would swoop into the location I had been turned away from, grab the artefact and rub her victory in my face! As mentioned before, route planning and assessing risks are key here, especially if you want to avoid sibling rivalry.
One of the things I really like about Bush Buck is the little plane flying animations at the bottom of the screen as you fly between cities or find the artefact you are looking for. These animations are accompanied by nicely orchestrated midi versions of classical music tracks. I vividly remember watching intently with fingers crossed as the little plane takes to the sky to see if makes it through or it ends up being turned around. They offer a nice visual break from the otherwise static screens and text-based trivia that makes up most of the game. It could do with a few more variations as they do get a little repetitive after a while.
There is a lot I like about Bush Buck, but it is rather dated and not just in the gameplay department. It features countries that don’t exist anymore, such as Yugoslavia and trivia tends to be behind the times (it is three decades old after all). I still think there is a lot of educational value here that could help kids improve their geography in a fun way. Overall, I really enjoyed revisiting this fond memory from my youth. It retains a lot of charm in single-player, but I feel it is more fun when played with a friend or family member sitting right next to you. Of which I think I will be calling my sister to set up one last treasure hunt!
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Manual & Finder's Log included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 4.45 Mb. Install Size: 7.01 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Bush Buck: Global Treasure Hunter is © PC Globe, Inc
Review by HeroOfAvalon
Cover Design and Installer created by me