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Creative Sparks
Phil Snell
1985
Arcade: Maze
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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14
Chris Bourne

Danger Mouse is taking a well-earned holiday down in Cheddar Gorge in the sunny West Country. It should be a nice quiet holiday as he's on his own without the bespectaled and easily startled Penfold, but despite the beautiful countryside, DM is finding it hard to relax. Even the famous Cheddar Cheese Straws can't put his mind at rest.

Eventually his worst fears are confirmed: a telegram from Colonel K tells him that Baron Greenback is up to his dastardly tricks again. Poor little Penfold has been kidnapped by the Baron's henchmen. But's that's just the tip of the iceberg. The grotesque Greenback has come up with his worst plan ever for ultimate World Domination...

At his hideout in Chicago. the Baron and his minions are busy manufacturing thousands of Whoopee cushions. Strange. But there is method behind this madness. The plan is to put them on every seat in the United Nations. So at the next meeting there will be so many blushes and apologies in every language imaginable that during the ensuing chaos Greenback will be able to sneak in and take over the world.

Danger Mouse casts aside his packet of Cheese straws and sets off for Chicago. Quite apart from the Baron's sinister whoopee cushion factory. a number of gas making factories and power stations must be shut down as they supply the Baron with power and materials for cushion factory. If DM manages to shut down enough of these factories, when he eventually gets through to the Whoopee cushion plant he'll find it a lot easier to burst the cushions with the P.I.N (Pointed Imploding Needle) because there will be less of them.

The screen shows a three dimensional view of Danger Mouse in his car as he battles around the city looking for clues. The bottom half of the screen shows the layout of the city with DM's position marked, along with obstacles such as the Troll with no Plaice to go, who only moves out of your way if you give him a fish. Gedditt? Useful objects can be found by visiting store rooms. Walking through the unmarked doors in the store rooms, DM must try and navigate his way to the blue exit at the top of the screen. When he gets to this stage, a useful object is offered to him. When DM finds one of the baron's factories he must avoid whatever is being manufactured there and get to the top of the screen to the exit door in much the same way as he did in the store rooms. Then it's back into the car and off somewhere else.

While Danger Mouse is hunting around the city looking for clues, the Baron is making more and more cushions. When the number gets to 100 the game ends and Greenback has triumphed. The number of whoopee cushions trundling off the production line is shown at the bottom of the screen along with any bonus marks.

CRITICISM

'Danger Mouse games could be really good as he is an extremely versatile character, unfortunately he doesn't seem to have been used to his greatest effect or ability yet, and all the games in which he has starred have been a bit on the boring side. Controlling Danger Mouse's car is at first very hard to get used to, so it is easy to get lost in the maze. The game plays quite slowly and once you've seen a few screens there is little variation, and boredom sets in. The graphics are colourful but there are a lot of attribute problems. The sound is fairly good with some nice spot effects in the game, and the Danger Mouse theme tune on the title screen. Not a bad piece of cheapo software - it would be nice if it was a little more compelling.'

'For £1.99, this is a fair game. If it had been priced any higher, there's no way that I would have said anything nice about it. The graphics are not particularly good, but they give the right impression. Playability wise, DM is good, but nothing special. Despite the different screens, it doesn't hold much in the way of interesting action. For the price, worth a look, methinks.'

'Yes, we all know that Danger Mouse is great: I love the TV series and all that stuff. The look of DMMW is very good, and a valid attempt is made at drawing a believable road. Danger Mouse turns the corners in the road in a very realistic fashion, and is drawn very accurately and animated beautifully, even down to the odd glance around while playing. After the appeal of the game had worn off, I couldn't see much more than a basic maze game- which made me understand why it was only £1.99. The sound on the title screen is an extremely loud and accurate rendition of the DM theme tune, this and the DM character were the only pulling points of the game. I couldn't find much else to validate the lashing out of nearly two hundred pennies.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: O left. P right, Q up, A reverse direction/down, 0 fire/jump, 1 status screen, 2 continue game, 5 abandon game
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: fine, but a bit tricky controlling the car
Use of colour: par for the budget course
Graphics: nothing remarkable
Sound: jolly tune, fair effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling maze
General Rating: A reasonable game, given the price.

59%
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Screenshot Text

The maze of city streest through which our intrepid rodent hero travels on his way to thwart the plans of arch villain, Baron Greenback.

Scampering through storeroom, DM does his best to get another useful item in his quest to defeat the Bad Baron.