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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Rod Bowkett
1986
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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67
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

All that bounces is not boring. Dynamite Dan II is as full of bouncing sprites as any game I've ever seen, and yet it remains defiantly exciting and original. How can this be?

The secret is partly that one bounce is not like another and the assorted sprites (I'd call them whacky if it hadn't become an insult) in DDII have been animated with skill and imagination. Each has its own movement pattern such that it seems to interact with the backgrounds and with the others. For example, one flying bird-type thing seemed to be afraid of another bird-type thing since it dashes off screen whenever the latter appears. Some sprites crawl along the ground, some fly, some drop unexpectedly on you.

What entertained me about DDI was its introduction of a new type of central hero. Dan himself looks like something out of Brideshead - he looks as though he is faintly appalled at having to take part in an arcade game. Dan is back, still faintly incongruous with his snooty expression and quiffed hair.

DDII is also enormous and amazingly varied. There are eight different kinds of playing area each choc-full of colourful detail and imaginative touches. There is a jungle section that looks like Sabre Wulf with very detailed jungle scenery. Though the game is set on an island, other sections look like futuristic junk piles, or off-shore drilling platforms. There are 192 screens divided evenly over eight islands. On each island is a record and a jukebox. Dan must put the two together and play the record, then find and refuel the Zeppelin on which he arrived which will take off and carry him to the next island.

On the final island Dan must find the last jukebox and blow it up - he gets three minutes to get back to the Zeppelin before the whole thing explodes.

A gem of a game. It may seem on first glance just another bouncy-bouncy collect and dodge offering, but in fact DDII is a Rolls Royce among such games. Beautifully constructed, stylish, professionally produced and of little details that give it a long playing life.

Label: Mirrorsoft
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

*****

A Rolls Royce among collect and dodge games.Big, technically clever and thoroughly addictive. Buy it.

5/5

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GRAPHCIS AND SOUND

DDII looks excellent. Like Manic Miner only larger with hardly any colour clash - at least you hardly notice it if it's there. The design of both the increasingly bizarre backgrounds and the assorted foreground details gives a personality to each of the different nasties and sparkles with imaginative ideas.

Even the sound is good. Clever timing gives the impression that sound effects and background music are heard simultaneously and the renditions of both are a considerable cut above the average.

HINTS ON PLAY

The objects you need are randomly scattered around each island, as are the hoards of nasties without which the game would be lacking much by way of conflict.

Dan minces up, down, left and right and jumps are programmed such that if you get a good run up you seem to jump higher and further.

Large numbers of useful objects are picked up merely by passing over them and used 'automatically'. For example, if you collect a bomb and come across a locked door it will remove the obstruction. The different objects have a wide variety of uses:

Bomb Goggles: Blow things up Give immunity from Dr Blitzen's mesmerism ray. (Blitzen zooms around on a little hover platform and zaps the unprotected Dan making him temporarily out of your control)

Torch: immunity from theft - ̶some of the nasties not only drain energy but also pinch useful objects you have acquired.

Food mixer: Lets you make an inexhaustible supply of food (=energy)

Dumbell: Allows bigger jumps.

Various Foods: Restores energy.

Screenshot Text

Dan faces danger from the evil Doctor's mesmerism ray. The bomb removes obstacles in the floor levels.

A curious collection of useful and useless objects. But which is which?

From Walkmans to reel-to-reel tape recorders all listening hardware is found in DDII. But where are the vital discs?