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Piranha
Don Priestley
1987
Adventure: Graphic
£9.95
£1.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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59
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

So what's the name of the game? Flunky, you dumb cluck, can't you read? And what's it all about? Well, just a simple matter of getting the Queen's autograph, that's all. To do that you first have to get Charles, Di, Fergie and Andy to scribble their illustrious signatures in your book. You'll also have to light all the fires in the Buckingham Palace fire-places. Easy-easy-easy... here we go, here we go, here we go...

Hang about. Why is that palace guard pointing his weapon at me? Doesn't he know I'm on his side? Oy, pal, I work here too, you know! BANG! Blimey, not much point trying to reason with him. Must have an IQ equal to the average house brick.

I may be new at the job but I'll soon get the hang of the palace layout. Through the first door is Andy and Fergie's apartment, through the second door live Chas and Dave, sorry Chas and Di, and through the third door... BANG!... erm, yes, obviously Her Majesty's private apartment to which I'm not privy yet. Must get those other autographs first.

Tumti-tumti-tum, just go through here and... ahem, sorry Andy, I mean Your Highness, didn't realise you were in the bath. I was hoping I might catch... ahem, cough, no, nothing at all. What's that, sir?? Bring you something to play with? What about your loofah? You want a boat, right, I see. Tra-la-la... three rooms away, here's a boat, this is going to be easy, tumti-tum... there you are, sir. What, no good? Rats, there's no pleasing some people. I'll go and light Fergie's fire instead, if you'll forgive the expression. What's that Ma'am. You want some freckles? At once Ma'am.

What's this on Fergie's dressing table? Looks like a radio. The graphics are good but I wish these arcade-adventures would actually tell you what it is you've found when you've found it. Ah-ha! A secret passage! Some kind of radio control device, obviously. I'll just go down in the cellars... and here's another boat! But when I go into that dungeon the portcullis drops behind me. And to raise the portcullis, I have to pull on this here hanging skeleton... pull, pull, pull, then run like a flunky and I can just get out. And if I stop pick up the boat, I can't make it past the portcullis in time.

Back to Chas and Di. Now is this Di's wig... could be a set of curlers... or is it a spring? And why are all these balls bouncing about in the next room? Splat-splat-BOING! That's me getting hit on the head twice before discovering it is indeed a spring I'm holding, and it'll bounce these balls from one room to another.

To sum up, my little would-be flunkies, this is a game with big graphics, funnily done, and with more than a touch of the Wallies about the way you collect objects and have to work out what to do with them. Redefinable keys, joystick option, and if you get fed up with the English version, you can play in any of four other languages. Takes a wee while to get into, but then I was playing with no instructions. The only quibble could be it might prove a mite too difficult for the average gamester, but for those with perseverance all I can say is splat-splat-BANG!-BOING!-splat, Ma'am. Now 'scuse me while I tug my forelock... ahhhh!... By jove I needed that.

Irreverent arcade-adventure that could get winners thrown in the Tower. Perhaps a touch too difficult for its own good.

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Screenshot Text

Andy's very keen on keeping clean, and spends most of his time in the bath. Fergie meanwhile sits in her room off to the left, studying the mirror. So what can the object be with RED written on it? Fergie's box of instant freckler? Don't panic, 'cos its the royal towel, for drying the royal bod.

Some people say that Charles is off his rocker, but as you can see from this shot, he's comfortably seated on it. Still barmy as a coot, though. Question is, can you get his polo balls? You'll need the springs to catch them, and take note of the time - it's counting you down towards the dole!