One of the most infamous of GTW games comes in the form of a well sort after game called “Bamboo”, from the creators of Hawkeye.
To introduce the game, here is a clip from Finnish computer magazine “Mikrobitti” in December 1988, thanks to contributor Seppo Aikas:
“Boys without brains, who programmed the game Hawkeye, are making a new revolutionary game for the C64. The idea of Bamboo is to rescue your beautiful girlfriend from an evil witch. Like Hawkeye, the boys are pushing the C64’s graphics to the limit. The amazing effects are possible thanks to a 8-directional bitmap scroll-routine coded by Mario van Zeist. Bamboo smoothly scrolls in its 8 directions for its example graphics made with Koala painter, at the speed of 1-100 pixels per screen refresh.”
Jori Olkkonen wrote this text, who is rumoured to have known the developers, and had seen a demo of the game running due to his knowledge of the game’s technical details.
Commodore User also described the game as “Featuring a cute main character, with the game based on the Ghost n Goblins/Wardner style of play, and featuring some technically clever hi-res scrolls, whatever that might mean.”. A demo was apparently to be shown at the PC Show in 1988, but seems may not have happened.
Then finally, the following was later written in an issue of Games Machine magazine:
“Crazy Dutch programmers The Boys without Brains – creators of Hawkeye – are delving into their Commodore’s insides to find a game with the (tongue-in-cheek?) title of Bamboo. Although little is known at present, it’s a massive shoot-em-up with a nifty eight-way directional scrolling routine. Plans are afoot for a Christmas release if the dykes hold, and we’ll bring you the full preview very shortly.”
Zeldin, a past GTW contributor, informed GTW of his contact with Mario van Zeist in the past, who proclaimed his new game as being far superior to Hawkeye.
Contributor Jan Schulze found some information in ASM magazine issue 7/89 which stated that Mario van Zeist and X-ample were hired to make games for Digital Marketing. Regarding Bamboo, the snippet stated that “a hero had to travel through five levels – a fairy-tale land, a cave, the realm of the dead, ancient Japan and a future world. In these levels, the hero had to solve puzzles, find secret rooms and rescue friends.”
The article also confirmed that Thalamus WERE to publish the game.
The game never surfaced as you may have guessed. How far did it get, and does this amazing sounding game exist in any form? We hope to find out soon from Mario and Jacco. We’ve added Thomas Detert’s music for the time being, which is quite oriental and gives an indication that this may have been something similar to Tyger Tyger perhaps?
Interestingly in 2013, we found in Games Machine June 1990 – a reference to Bamboo 2 actually being Hawkeye 2 (see scans). Certainly an error for sure.
If you know anything more about this game, then please do get in touch.
Contributions: Seppo Aikas, Zeldin, Steve Day, Jazzcat, Jan Schulze, Professor Chaos
05/01/22 – Heavily tidied up the page.
“Jori Olkkonen […] is rumoured to have known the developers” – this is correct, Arthur van Jole (Ozy) and Jori Olkkonen (Yip, now Petrik Salovaara) confirmed having known each other then in their respective C64.COM interviews.
Thanks Professor Chaos! That’s good to know and will update. I’ve just got in touch with BWB as well via Facebook. The write up was vastly out of date.