Steven Monks
1985
Arcade: Platform
£2.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

22
Chris Bourne

This game is of the 'trapped in cavern and need to collect all the objects to get out' type. Dr Dogmush has carried out a plan of despicable daring and kidnapped 192 puppies, and stashed them away in his lair. He's now planning to carry out vile genetic experiments to turn them from cute and playful puppies that could easily be used to advertise toilet paper, into vicious killer dogs that will go for the throat as soon as say "woof'. Animal liberationists, determined not to take any of this lying down, have sent in special agent Dogsbody. Dogsbody is a mission hardened operative, with skills honed for this type of mission. Dogsbody, by the way, is a dog.

The puppies are incarcerated within the Dr Dogmush's stronghold. Built upon red sandstone, the caverns are patrolled by a number of the doctor's robotic denizens. There are fifty beings guarding the maze, each of whose touch is deadly to agent Dogsbody. Also, the nasties aren't stupid. They track and trace Dogsbody even when they're not present on the screen with him.

Some of the corridors and pathways are blocked with soil: this can be eaten away by Dogsbody but is impassable to the stronghold's guards. All dogsbody needs to do to clear a pathway is travel over the soil, and it's automatically eaten away. There are also impassable boulders scattered around the mad doctor's lair, and they're generally supported by soil. Eat away the soil and the boulder falls down, rather like those in Boulderdash. If Dogsbody is fortunate enough to land a boulder on one of the baddies, it'll then get squashed but it'll be reincarnated and teleported back to its start position.

Dogsbody is able to move around in the up, down, left and right directions. Standing still he just pants and looks miserably out of the screen, but once on the move a grin hits his face as his little legs jog up and down. As he crosses over the screen boundary a new cave full of nasties flicks into view. There are twenty five such screens, each sheet covering nearly the whole screen. A majority of the maze is made up from bricked walls, impenetrable to special agent Dogsbody, who has to find his way round the tortuous caverns.

Extra obstacles added include the mega quick growing flowers, sitting innocently about the maze with their heads jammed against some soil. If you eat away the earth above the flowers ' heads they quickly grow up as far as they can. The trouble is flowers block pathways in the maze, so you can end up blocking yourself in. Horticulture can also be handy if a fiend is hot on your trail and you want to bar its way.

The puppies are inanimate and are little replicas of Dogsbody. For some reason they constantly glow and shimmer until you run over them. They are then rescued and duly disappear, and you collect points for rescuing 'puppies and for eating earth away.

CRITICISM

'Though quite nice in conception and execution, Dogsbody falls down because of a couple of flaws. The main problem that ultimately makes things a bit difficult is the way the error detection works. Sometimes you can walk through Dr Dogmush's robotic fiends without coming to harm, and other times you can't Things can really get confusing! Some of the game ideas are good - but the whole game maintains a slight resemblance to Boulderdash: the earth and rocks seem to behave in exactly the same way. Dogsbody would have been greatly improved had the main screen scrolled about Special Agent Dogsbody - as it is, it's just all too easy to rush blindly off the edge of the screen and cop it. Overall all though, a nice little game that just wasn't programmed too professionally.'

'This game must take the biscuit for cheat bugs of the year! Once a boulders dropped on you, if you're careful you can walk through it; which can also be done with the flowers. If you bought Rockford's Riot and liked it then I'd recommend this one because the graphics are much better, but the sound does tend to get on your nerves. This is the sort of game that would appeal to the younger Spectrum owner who hasn't got that much money. Personally, I'd rather be playing the other new Bug Byte game, Zoot.'

'This one has qualities about it that remind me of the popular arcade game Mr Do . Although it is a lot more involved and it doesn't really look the same, it has the same feel about it. The graphics are large and colourful and nicely animated. Unfortunately, these large and colourful graphics mean that there are a lot of attribute problems. Sound is not well used but it does its job adequately. There are several things about this one that annoys me, the main being the way that you only die sometimes when you are touched by a nasty. This can be a little disconcerting. Generally, I wouldn't recommend this one but you can't really go wrong for the cheap price that its being marketed for.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Pup L down, Z left, X right, SPACE to abort/exit demo mode, Fire/Enter to restart game
Joystick: Interface 2 and Kempston
Keyboard play: a bit sticky at times.
Use of colour: no attribute clash because of large graphics, though colours could have been better chosen
Graphics: nicely animated, though rather bland
Sound: nothing special
Skill levels: one
Screens: 25 screens
General Rating: A pleasant game, slightly flawed by a few blunders.

52%
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69%
65%

Screenshot Text

Wuff Wuff! Tunnelling through the maze to rescue puppies in DOGSBODY, one of the new Bug Byte games. Featuring flowers that grow and boulders that fall, the game involves a smiling fido and plenty of meanies.