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Ubi Soft Ltd
1989
Arcade: Maze
£9.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

33
Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

Zut alors! Imagine un peu de Gauntlet addez une dash de PacMan avec une sprinkling liberal de Ms PacMan, throw in some frog's legs, a couple of escargots, a touch of garlic et there we 'ave it - Puffy's Saga.

But enough of this franglais banter. Back to ye plaine olde Englishe and ye game in hande. Just in case anyone didn't catch the rather obvious hint in the first paragraph. Puffy's Saga is a maze game. And a cute and cuddly maze game at that.

Pufyn is a smiling-faced, open-mouthed, PaccMan-shaped sort of monochrome being with a big bow on her head who looks just like her boyfriend Puffy - 'cept Puffy's had his bow surgically removed. Somehow, for reasons that shall remain nameless (like, erm, no-one's thought of them yet), our two globular chums have managed to get themselves imprisoned in the middle of a dungeon somewhere. Now you, as one or other of the circular couple, have to help them munch their way out.

Top of the menu come dots. There's a specific number hidden on each aerially-viewed level and eating all of them sproings you instantly up to the next maze. As per usual, there's a load of meanies and monsters lurking blimmin' everywhere, waiting to bleed our disc-shaped hero's energy dry. They range from the fairly harmless sort to great stonking dragons with pointy teeth and little black leeches who latch on to you and knock off 90 energy points. So shooting the blighters comes top of your list. Some of them even have the very useful side effect of turning into energy-giving Puffy-sized steaks.

If you've seen Gauntlet (if you haven't, you, erm, haven't) you'll know what to expect - keys to locked doors, bonus food magic floors, transporters, supershots, temporary levitation. invisibility, invincibility, the lot. Not only that, if you feel the urge (oo-er) you can go around collecting a selection of magic goms (goms?) which give you the power to call up a map of the level or breathe fire in particularly tricky, monster-ridden spots. One rather spanky little feature is that Puffy and Pufyn have different abilities. Puffy's stronger so he doesn't need to pop so many pills to stay alive but Pufyn's a quicker, much more slippery customer so she's harder to catch. Cute, huh?

Cute, in fact, is definitely the operative word because the Puffies boast a whole selection of rubbery facial expressions. For extra syrupy cuteness factor, they even manage to talk. Puffy shouts "Yum" and even stretches to a sort of crackly giggle in glorious Speccy sound.


As for the gameplay. If liked Gauntlet or PacMania you'll probably squeeze more than a couple of chuckles out of this. It doesn't have quite as many features as Gauntlet and, apart from the main characters, the graphics aren't exactly among the most corkendous ever to appear in a maze game. But it's good, squeaky-clean fun all the same. If maze-munchers are your 'thang', go for it before you run out of puffy (groan).

A cute and cuddly Gauntlet-style thingy with lots of twee features to please Pacman fans. And it's not a bad little maze game either.

76%
83%
73%
79%
78%

Screenshot Text

Eeek! Low energy! If I could just get to that steak round the corner... Aaargh! Too late!

Pill-popping Puffy packs a powerful pop-gun. Pop!

Ouf! Locked door. Now where did I leave that blimmin' key!?