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Ocean Software Ltd
1984
Arcade: Platform
£6.90
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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32
Chris Bourne

Pud Pud's author is a bit backward as the title screen proves. To save you getting a mirror out, his forwards name is Jonathan Smith. The object of the game is to help Pud Pud escape from Weird World by eating all ten hidden puddings.

Pud Pud himself, apart from obviously being a flying pudding, resembles a hyperactive Pacman character with flapping ears. The place is full of other creatures whittering around some of which, when eaten by Pud Pud, replenish energy, and others kill. Mrs. Pud Pud is the one to avoid, as her kiss is deadly. The various screens are interlinked and incorporate platforms held in position by large graphics of things like bits of the statue of Liberty or parts of broken Spectrums.

Pud Pud walks when on the floor of a platform, but tucks his legs up to flap when in the air. Energy is displayed as a bar at the base of the screen while the lives are three large hearts which deflate like punctured balloons when a life is lost through eating the wrong thing or running out of energy. When he dies, the rotund hero explodes into colourful bits and sinks to the ground as a dressed chicken.

CRITICISM

'Pud Pud is one of the weirdest games I've played for a long while - it really is strange, no hints or tips are given on the inlay, it just says 'find ten hidden puddings'. I've yet to find one and I've been playing for some considerable time. What do they look like - real puddings or what. And what confuses the issue even more is that if you exit and then re-enter the same screen, all the colours change. Very confusing. The graphics are very, very... different (is this the right word)? This isn't to say that they are bad, indeed they are very good, move well and are exceptionally detailed and colourful. Jonathan Smith must be a very abnormal person, or even a relative of Matthew Smith (no offence intended)! Everything is so out of this world, his imagination or inspiration must come from nightmares. (STOP PRESS - found a pudding -gasp- thank goodness). The only drawback I can find to this game is that it is so difficult to find the puddings although better difficult than too easy. The music in Pud Pud is extremely good. Overall a totally different game . . . (is this the right word for it)?'

'A slight thrill! Wasn't this the game you could just see being assessed on the telly programme about Imagine and Ocean just before Christmas? I thought then that it looked a little dated and seeing the real thing hasn't changed my mind entirely. The graphics are excellent, helping to create a really weird world all right. Pud Pud himself is a dubious character - is he nice or nasty, is this the first computer anti-hero? If you don't find a pudding quickly it can get a bit confusing (they are placed randomly each game and the second only materialises when the first has been eaten and so on). The main difficulty placed in your path is the short length of energy time you are given and eating the proper food to keep it up isn't always as easy as it first seems. In the end I grew to like Pud Pud, but I can't honestly say that it would hold my attention for too long.'

'At first glance this looks like a platform game but it isn't really. True, there are platforms around, but they are really there to create a simple form of maze. The game is simple too, flap or walk your way round until you find a randomly hidden pudding, eat it and another will appear somewhere else in the maze of interlinked screens. Keep you energy up by eating flying things, whilst avoiding eating anything else as that just decreases your energy. As a result the game is very playable but lacks lasting appeal in the end. Graphically it is very good with nice animation and the large maze characters add to the atmosphere. Sound, too, is good, with a powerful synthesiser tune at the start. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't actually go out and buy it.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q or O/W or P left/right, SPACE or CAPS to flap
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, Cursor type
Keyboard play: responsive, a simple layout and easy to use when you get used to gravity
Use of colour: unusual, very bright and varied
Graphics: also unusual, well animated and smooth
Sound: excellent tune, good spot effects
Skill levels: 1 but progressive after 10 puddings
Lives: 3
Screens: unknown but several interlinked
General Rating: A slick, glossy, high quality package as one expects from Ocean, but perhaps lacking in addictivity.

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Screenshot Text

One of the unusual screens from PUD PUD - you are the rather dragonesque pacman figure on legs on the lowest platform.