Rather than describe the story of this game myself, I think I’ll let the instruction booklet do that for me, for it seems to have a much better idea of what Beauty & the Beast is all about than I do:
“Horrible Hank has run off with Tiny Mabel. She’s Bashful Buford’s girl. All of Lambville is talking.
Now, Horrible Hank is a mean one. Eats hot buttered bricks for breakfast. Regular mountain of a man. He uses boulders instead of bowling balls. Carries them with him in his pocket, like paper clips. Bowls a strike every time. Small wonder.
Seems Tiny Mabel finally told him off. Everybody heard. That’s when Horrible Hank grabbed her, and ran off.
Buford may be scrawny, but he’s got spunk. He’s cornered them up on the old Mutton Building. Buford jumps over those boulders Horrible Hank throws his way. He dodges birds and bats and leaps clean over rats—all to get his little love back.”
Right about here is where I should make some comment akin to, “haHA, look how different this story is from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which featured not Horrible Hank kidnapping Tiny Mabel—only to be conquered by Bashful Buford—but rather Beast kidnapping Belle, but then turning into a good guy with magical dancing candles,” but this game was released years before Walt’s musical masterpiece, so there’s bound to be a few minor storyline discrepancies.
Like the instruction booklet says, this game is all about you climbing up a tall building to save your lady fair from a guy who eats bricks. Lest you be thinking that this game is a rip off of Donkey Kong, let me remind you that DK is all about climbing a tall building to save your lady fair from a gorilla, and thus, is totally different from Beauty & the Beast.
The game controls well, which automatically puts it well above most games for the Intellivision, or at least most that I’ve played. There isn’t a whole lot for you to remember—move left and right to reach the ladder, move up to climb up the ladder, and jump over the various objects that Horrible Hank tries to impede your progress with. You have to climb about eleven sections of the building before reaching horrible Hank, and then all you have to do is run into him to knock him off the building, because murder is obviously the way to go about solving all your kidnapping issues.
Personally, if i were Bashful Buford, I would’ve just called the cops on Horrible Hank instead of playing the vigilante, but I suppose that’s why I’m not the star of my very own Intellivision game. Though I bet if I were the star of my very own Intellivision game, it would be titled The Lion King, and it would be all about my quest to shave a lion and enter him into some sort of lion beauty pageant, so that he could win and be dubbed “The King of all Lions” (You see, because this Beauty & the Beast game, while involving both a beauty and a beast, has nothing to do with the Disney film of the same name and…oh forget it).
After murdering the poor innocent kidnapper, the game starts over from the beginning, and you can play through it again as many times as you want before getting bored or losing all of your lives. It doesn’t take much time for you to complete Beauty & the Beast, so you won’t be like, “oh man, there is no way in heck I’m gonna do all of that again!” When I played through the game, I got bored about halfway through my second climb up the old Mutton Building, but perhaps your experience will be different. It’s at least nice that you have the ability to replay the game without going to all the effort of hitting the restart button, or, God forbid, turning the Intellivision off, and then back on.
You may have noticed that I like to complain a lot in my reviews, even if I really like the game I’m discussing. This is definitely the case here. Out of all the Intellivision games I picked up at a yardsale a few months ago, this one is my favorite, though possibly because it is one of the few I was able to figure out. Obviously, if you’re looking for a game with the magical dancing candles and the cute baby teacup, you’re not gonna find it here; but if you’re looking for a game that is MOST CERTAINLY NOT a Donkey Kong clone, Intellivision’s Beauty & the Beast is for you. (And if you’re even playing Intellivision games to begin with, chances are you don’t care about graphic and/or sound quality, hence why I’ve declined to discuss them here. I’m sure you were all worried that I’d actually forgotten to discuss two very important aspects of the game; rest assured that it just doesn’t matter.)