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Quicksilva Ltd
Paul Hargreaves
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Max Phillips
Chris Bourne

Zall ve do ze funny vork zen? Alphonse T. Nurd and his badly behaved alter-ego are a couple of versatile sprites with the ability to walk in a rather comic way, pull levers, climb stairs, bend down, open things and so on. But what's most amusing about them is the crudity of it all. And it's not just colour clashing - one the occasions you can't see through them, they cast black rectangular shadows wherever they go. In a game where split-pixel positioning is essential, it makes playing nigh-on impossible.

But I'm in two minds about the game itself. To get through a room, you have to pull various switches, bolts on doors and so on. All the time, your alter-ego is wandering around in a fairly predictable way putting switches off, pushing bolts in and anything else he can think of to hinder your progress. The solution appears to be to work out what needs doing (by watching what he does) and then following him at a distance of a couple of steps, doing the opposite. This is pretty original for something that's a platform's'n'ladders game at heart. Particularly as you have to keep switching the scoring back on in the first screen!

There's also a very original scratch-wiv-a-coin lottery card that tells you what you're supposed to do on the first five screens. This suggests there's a lot more to the game than just getting through the screens but since the animation makes all so hard, I can't tell you for sure. So this is a good one for complete addicts who like a challenge and for whom the neanderthal coding adds to the game's excitement rather than puts you off.