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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Meet a new hero - Spodgo, who resembles a cross between a green snowflake and a Splat. Spodgo has three different screens to survive in this very original arcade game. In the first, you must shoot up the blue coloured gobstoppers, whilst avoiding the uncommonly intelligent mutant toffees and a purple snake.

Spodgo fires in the direction of movement, a sort of unbent paper clip, which kills the gobstoppers. The toffees cannot be destroyed, and all four gang up to chase you round the screen.

Surviving this stage moves Spodgo on to a screen across which three trains move from left to right, one above the other, the middle one being the shorter but faster. A blue path zig zags down the screen blocked by opening and closing gates. The object is to guide Spodgo from the top right to the bottom right of the screen, avoiding the gates, and dodging across the railway tracks between trains.

The third screen Sam the demented ice-cream salesman hurls endless supplies of ice-cream cones across the grass at you, and they must be dodged.


'Gobstopper is a good game. My main criticism is that your hero does not move very quickly, and as the screen is very crowded because of the large graphics, it means hit and run tactics have to be used. Generally the graphics are good but jerky, although the trains move very smoothly. I found the game mildly addictive with joystick play. The keyboard play is terrible.'

'Gobstopper has nice large graphics, well drawn details as well. The gobstoppers' mouths all move up and down as they float about, the trains are very big and detailed, a pity the wheels don't revolve though. There are nice touches like the cartoon-style strip at the start of the game, and the explosion when you lose a life has a little "pop" written in its centre. Nevertheless, I thought overall it looked a bit childish and is probably intended for younger children despite its difficulty. It is quite hard to play, but once mastered, there is insufficient scope to really be addictive.'

'I have never seen a game quite like this - it is totally unique. I found the first screen very active, quite hard, but pitched about right so you can get on to the second after a few minutes' practice. I like the idea of firing paper clips at chewing mouths while being attacked by frenzied toffees. The trains are drawn nicely, but move fairly slowly and make the screen too easy. The third screen is very difficult - almost impossible. The graphics are large, colourful and move very well. Great sound. I quite enjoy this game, but I think the addictive qualities will wear off after a few hours play.'

Control keys: cursors and 6 to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: responsive, pity about the cursors though
Use of colour: good
Graphics: very good but a bit jerky
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 3
General Rating: Good.


Screenshot Text

You won't have time to get toothache with this game, besides which - the mutant toffees are real mean.

Second screen of Gobstopper - dodge the Starlgiht Express.