Dollarsoft
1984
Arcade: Maze
£4.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

91,92
Chris Bourne

Dotty is a pacman variant with three different mazes drawn in a 3D perspective. There is a dot gobbling orange, four multi-coloured ghosts and four power pills in the shape of the dollar sign. What makes this game different is that the mazes are not drawn with single dot-wide corridors, many areas are two, three even four dots wide.

There are also 'rooms' which are dangerous to enter as there is only one exit, also very long corridors with the attendant risk that you may get trapped. The object of the game is quite traditional, eat up all the dots and avoid being eaten by the ghosts. After eating a power pill the ghosts turn blue and may be eaten in turn. Each maze is faster than the one before.

CRITICISM

'This is a 3D pacman variant. The 3D effect is quite good on the maze and does catch you out when the game speeds up into an impossible level. Graphics are small but colourful, and move quite smoothly. The large maze makes the game quite playable - as far as Spectrum pacmen go.'

'There are a few problems with this game, but I would have to say that I found it strangely addictive to play and one of the most enjoyable pacmen type game on the Spectrum that I have played. The large mazes, each with a warp tunnel somewhere, are cleverly designed to make life quite difficult, especially, at the higher speeds. Added to this, the graphics are very good sprite animation, move smoothly and very fast. Colour has also been well used, especially on the 3D maze. This 3D does have a minimal effect, making it hard to get some of the dots. There are two very neat touches. When you start, your orange is nowhere in sight, but moving him up or down, causes him to appear from a wall as though materialising. And when he is hit by a ghost the effect is very good, about the closest to the original I have seen. The problems are control which is very sluggish on a joystick, better on the keyboard. Also the ghosts give no warning when about to change colour from edible blue to dangerous full colour again. If you eat a ghost it effectively reappears instantly somewhere else in the maze. There are no bonus fruit. Despite the control, I thought this was a pretty good version and well worth adding to the collection.

'This version of the pill-popping arcader has very bright colours and is a close copy of the original - well quite close anyway. The orange being squeezed to death is the best copy of the original I have seen. But there are so many pacmen versions around. I wonder whether this can compete.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: good positions, Q/A up/down, O/P left/right
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: small, one-character size, but smooth moving
Sound: average
Skill levels: progressive speed
Lives: 3
Screens: 3
Originality: the game type isn't original, but the variations are
General Rating: A well paced, addictive Pacman type, above average to good.

68%
70%
69%
65%
72%
65%
68%

Screenshot Text

First of three mazes with multi-dots in Dotty.