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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Linda Barker
Chris Bourne

It seems that Alternative can't release enough compilations at the moment - they've got three of the things in Replay this month. (Blimey, eh?) This one is specifically aimed at the younger gameplayer, but rest assured that we won't let that be an excuse for a poor game. (Hurrah! Lots of younger gameplayers.)

Count Duckula 2
Let's start with the most loathed game to reach the Shed since, erm, Delta Charge. When Jonathan first reviewed this a couple of months ago, I was worried that he was being a tad too harsh so I made him sit down and argue it out. He convinced me, and now I find myself wanting to say exactly the same things!

Not only does it look crap, but Count Duckula 2 is a dull game with absolutely no point to it at all. It really does underrate the intelligence of younger gamesplayers. Young people do have minds of their own. parents will be steered clear of this one.

Huxley Pig
Huxley is a pig. He has his own TV show and his own game. The TV show is a marvel of televisual art, the game is a load of twaddle. Whilst infinitely superior to Count Duckula 2 in the looks department. Huxley Pig is equally trite. It's a collect-'em-up along the same kind of lines as the even olderSooty and Sweep, ie not very good.

Unlike CD2, Huxley Pig does have a couple of redeeming qualities. One is the graphics and the other is an extra game called Pizza Pizza. In said game, you have to choose which ingredients you need to make a tasty pizza. It's simple but at least it has some function and sense of direction, things lacking in the main game.

Postman Pat 2
Reviewed elsewhere in this compact and bijou section as part of The Postman Pat Hit Collection, PP2 is a competent little game. As Pat you have to deliver letters and help your fellow villagers through various trials and torments. In return, you get the occasional lift in Sam's van. It might be fun for a while, but it's the kind of fun that won't last. Sort of like living on an isolated island paradise. (How? Jonathan) Well, there'd be no swinging indie record shops for a start.

Fireman Sam
I once met Fireman Sam in a toyshop in Bath and he was as tall as me but loads more furry. Sam drives a fire engine (I saw that too) and races around putting out fires, rescuing small boys who have somehow got their heads entangled in iron fences, rescuing kites and collecting loads of useful stuff.

The graphics are simple and colourful and the gameplay's fun. For younger players, this will prove amusing and interesting. Yep! Alternative have got it right with this one.

Another goodie (well, compared to the first few games anyway) which is also reviewed elsewhere. The idea here is to collect loads of lovehearts with which to impress the remarkably fickle Olive Oyl.

To make matters a tad difficult there are obstacles in the form of Bluto, giant vultures, witches, sharks and dragons. You can avoid these life-destroying nasties by kind of moving into the background. Y'see, it's hard to explain, but the game is sort of 3D in that there are two layers to it. Oh. if you buy the game you'll see exactly what I mean. It's certainly not easy and it seems a bit out of place amongst the other games in this collection. Still, it's certainly good and the incredibly large graphics are excellent.

Bangers and Mash
Another 'older' game that's tonnes of fun and nicely animated. Bangers and Mash are two chimps. You play one of them and have to leap around platforms collecting fruit (for your mum's fruit pie) and diamonds (for points) whilst simultaneously avoiding nasty bugs, skeletons and ghosts - all sent to plague you by the evil Mrs Snitchnose.

There's loads to do in Bangers and Mash and it really is good fun. I liked this when it first came out, and I like it now. Erm, so there. Basically.

Three of the games in this compilation are worth having, two aren't worth crossing the street for and one is kinda okay. So, it's a jumble of a collection really and one you should really think about before buying. It is cheap though, and those three good games are definitely worth the money.


Screenshot Text

See that strange doll-like thing in the corner? It's a bit spooky, isn't it? So is the fact that you eat sherry trifle, yucca root in piquant cheese sauce and maple syrup (in that order) you'll probably throw up. (How lovely, Jonathan)

Hello! Huxley here, I don't know if you know this, but us pigs are very good when it comes to colour co-ordination. Take my bathroom, for example.

Oh hello, Sam. I see you've still got that clapped out old van. When are you going to get a new one? A lift? I should think not. I wouldn't be seen dead in an old rust bucket like that. I do have some dignity.

Didn't we have a lovely day, the day we went to Cromer? Ohh, what a picture, what a photograph! Stick it in the family album. This is a very long caption box, isn't it? Still, I've managed to fill it. (Not quite, you haven't. Jonathan)

I'm Popeye the sailor man and this thing at my feet is a Giant Tibetan Garutalanasock Bird. It is very dangerous and you will notice how I am keeping well out of its way.

Here's a joke: What did the ghost say to the skeleton? Answer: Boo! (Actually, maybe it's more of a bit of a conversation than a joke.)