There are more belly laughs than at Greyfriars and more thrills than at Greystoke Hall here 'cos we're in the magical land of giggles and guffaws created by Ariolasoft in its latest arcade adventure - Greyfell.
As Norman the Wise (no, not Dame Edna's hubby - this ones a cat), your quest is to recover the orb of life from Mauron the Evil One (Shouldn't that be Moron? Ed) bringing peace and love back to the land, hey like wow, man! Norm may be full of wisdom but he's a gormless chap who begins the game legless as he falls out of the pub! This may account for his peculiar on-screen movement, but then again it may not! So, Norm the Gorm needs help (don't we all) from the various good guys scattered around the land of Greyfell.
Once he's found these illustrious heroes, like the Wizard, Blotto the drunken rabbit (is this game licensed I wonder?), and Willy the Pig (he's a policemen) they'll give Norm clues to the orb's whereabouts. But by this time he's in need of a drink himself to understand the gobble-degook they speak!
But, of course, no adventure is worth its magic salt without its legion of nasties roaming about, and roam they do. There are rats, who get everywhere you want to go, especially the caves. Killer tomatoes and wicked wolves are also ready to pounce, and there are dragons, cat-killing flora, minotaurs and crocodiles to contend with - all before the final confrontation with Mauron the skeletal overlord. Phew!
Most meanies can be vanquished arcade style - run, hide or zap (our Norm packs a mean punch). You've also got a bevy of icon-driven spells at your disposal while on-screen monitors measure your stamina rating ion a baked bean tin!) and your score, which can be upped by rolling around in the right plants?! Even so, you'll be struggling to keep your nine feline lives.
Survival's only half the story, though. Certain key objects (notice the clue) must be found then swopped with the Heroes' goodies before you can hope to succeed .. but now I'm telling you the plot!
Super zealous adventurers might say Greyfell's too heavy on the laffs and not heavy enough on the magic but I reckon it's brilliant. It's true the icons are a bit scrunched up but otherwise it's a bundle of fun and well above the Norm!
Norman the Wise meets some interesting characters int he forest, including a rat (which he really should get around to killing) and Blotto the drunk rabbit, to whom you should hive a carrot (if you can find one!) Watch out for the rat lurking behind the tree on the right!
Here's Norman inside on of the huts. Really there's not a lot of point him sticking around - if he tries to get over those pointy jobs, his only possible destiny is certain doom. And he should be careful of the floor panel near the door - it'll launch him in the air, towards the pointies and more doom. So go back the way you came, Norm!