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Ocean Software Ltd
1984
Arcade: Maze
£5.90
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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29
Chris Bourne

First thing you see with most games is the loading screen - it s hard to take your eyes off this one - a credit to Ocean and its authors.

Eskimo Eddie is a two-screen 'Pengo.' On the first you must rescue Percy Penguin three times. He's at the top of the screen and you're at the bottom. In between, two polar bears and three jagged holes in the ice move from side to side. The polar bears wrap around, one going to the right and the other, at a slower pace, going to the left. The ice holes just bounce from side to side, quite fast. So stage one is a bit like an icy 'Frogger.' The object is to cross the screen upwards, collect Percy, and then bring him safely back down.

Completing this screen three times moves you on to the more traditional looking 'Pengo' game. The screen is filled with what looks like a board of Rennie tablets, then to a loud twanging noise a maze is created by removing some of them to reveal Percy Penguin in the middle. Four snow bugs then pop up and the game begins. As usual in a 'Pengo' game, Percy can push the white snow blocks around the screen in the hope of squashing the bugs, or melt them to let him past. The edges of the screen may be electrified and any snow bug touching the same edge becomes dazed and can be run over. With this version, the killed off snow bugs come back after a few seconds until they have been killed twice.

Following screens have the same four bugs, but they are more intelligent in homing in on Percy.

CRITICISM

'The keys are very well laid out and offer a good response in moving the smooth graphics. The polar bears on screen one are especially well animated. Sound too is excellent with a strong, loud tune, although there isn't much to the actual game sound. This is a 'Pengo' game with much more content - perhaps not the best, but certainly very good value. '

'You effectively get two games for the price of one in Eskimo Eddie, a 'Frogger' and a 'Pengo.' This has obvious advantages in value but can prove to be a bit irritating when you have to wade through the first screen each time to play the second, main screen. Very good graphics with neat detailed touches. The actual game is quite a tough one with medium intelligent snow bugs, but very durable ones. Fortunately electrifying the fence has the effect of making all the bugs go slow, which device can get you out of a hole now and again. On the other hand, when you shove an ice block across the screen your movement is frozen, but not that of the bugs, who can then take the advantage and catch you, all in all, a very good game. '

'Great graphics and sound make this into an extremely playable game with lots of details, such as the way the Ice blocks explode when 'melted.' Well-positioned keys, and responsive ones, help with the tough snow bugs, all in all a well thought out version of 'Pengo' where a lot of attention has been paid to detail, making it very good value.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: O/A up/down, N/M left/right, SYM SHIFT push
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF, ZX 2
Use of colour: very icy
Graphics: smooth, fast, detailed, good
Sound: great tunes, less in the game itself
Skill levels: 1, but progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
Screens: 2
General Rating: Very good.

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Screenshot Text

Super smooth and fast acting Rennie tablets cure an indigestible bug in Eskimo Eddie.

Wrap up warm for the icy "Frogger" sequence in Eskimo Eddie.