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Sparklers
Trik
1985
Arcade: Platform
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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25
Chris Bourne

Oh lawdy, lawdy! The evil and villainous Krudd, a malignant and nasty race of an evil sort, have decided that the latest thing in badness is to swipe away large amounts of the Earth's baby population! Once the infants are swiped, the naughty aliens transport them back to the planet Krudd where the unsuspecting cherubs are quick frozen into suspended animation. The Krudds plan to sell off the babes as popsicles to the baby-eating Vlurgs From Behind The Moon. Well, a hero is needed and you are that very hero, a wobbling fat blob with a predilection to walking sideways.

Transported into the alien's baby holding warehouse, you must waddle round, collecting babies and saving them from the gory fate lurking just around the corner. Babies are returned home by placing them into the Magic Pram, a mystical object from the planet Muvirkare that teleports any children placed within it back home. For every four babies collected and teleported, a burst of pleasure surges through you, resulting in an extra life quite handy, considering the amount of lives that you'll lose facing the Krudd babyguards.

The format of Kidnap is extremely similar to a lot of other games in short it's an arcade adventure in classic Jet Set Willy style. You can go left, right and jump and babies are collected by travelling over them. Around the gaff are a number of deadly nastier all of which must be avoided: their touch is deadly. As with most games of this type, guiding the fatty under your hypnotic control off the screen causes another screen to splash into view. To complete the game, all of earth's thirty two frozen babies have to be magic prammed back to their snug little cots back home.

CRITICISM

'Aargh! Not another Manic Miner copy from a budget label - and I thought Creative Sparks had pulled their act together with Snodgits - it seems not. The game is an obvious copy of hundreds of other platform games-it even has Manic Miner type music. The graphics are small and boring, and the colour is typical of the old arcade adventures with lots of attribute clashes and very inaccurate error detection. I didn't find anything that would keep me playing Kidnap for long: it's a very crude copy of better games of this type.'

'A platform game: gosh I haven't seen one of these in ages, aren't they rare! The game is based around a fairly novel idea, but alas it feels just like another Jet Set Willy rip off. The graphics are pretty much run-of-the-mill for this type of game; fairly smooth animation, a few nicely drawn characters and lots of garish colours. The sound is fair but nothing special: just a tune and the odd spot effect here and there. Despite this game's many primitive aspects, I quite enjoyed it for a while.'

'What a pleasant little game, saving frozen babies. As a Jet Set Willy clone goes, Kidnap isn't that bad really: it performs all its tasks competently and smoothly and is hard to flaw. Gameplay-wise though, the market really has seen too many of this type of game. I am sick and tired of finding that so many of the budget games received by CRASH are heavily inspired by JSW. That program really has haunted budding programmers the country over, supposedly all of them wishing to be Matthew Smith The Second. I wish they'd go away and do something original and stop turning out stuff like this.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: A-G pause, Q-T continue, P/O music on/off, Z-V left, B-SYM SHIFT right, CAP SHIFT/SPACE jump
Joystick: Kempston, cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: bright, little clash
Graphics: unoriginal approach, fairly tidy
Sound: Manic Miner type ditty
Skill levels: one
Screens: 32
General Rating: A dated format with a new scenario; fairly well done.

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Screenshot Text

Poor old cold baby. The Blob has just been killed and there's little hop of rescue now...

You are the large blob with arms and legs on the left of the screen, while a poor little baby hangs, frozen stiff on the right. Can you make it over there?