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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

The thought of yet another Dizzy clone may seem almost as unappealing as the Codies bringing back Cheggars Plays Pop, but it's what they do best (apart from making heaps of cash of course) so I suppose we'll let them off just this once. The best way to explain about this one is for you all to put on your magic thinking caps and imagine, you guessed it, Dizzy. Then, get rid of the egg, and stick a large, well-animated magician blokie, called Slightly (cruel parents) in his place. After that, start solving puzzles to enable yourself to gain magic powers, escape the castle you're stuck in and rescue the Princess who's been kidnapped by the evil, cruel and sunburnt dragon. Again, everything is done Dizzy-style but with the added bonus of spells. These spells are effective once collected and combined with the corresponding object, and are used for a variety of things to allow you to progress further. Indirect clues are given to you during the game which hint towards which spell to use and when. (Incidentally, only 2 objects, or spells and objects, can be carried at once and both have to be used to complete the game.)

I promise not to mention Dizzy again honest guv, but another similarity is how you've got to time it just right on old Jump button to avoid killing you on some deadly object (or in some cases, draining your energy). This is almost always how you lose your lives (of which you have 3) but it adds to the addictiveness and lastability of the whole thing as you're always working out what you did wrong and how to get further next time with every game. The scale of the thing is pretty vast too (I know - I've finished it!). The 0898 helpline is on offer here once again if you get stuck, which provides ample opportunities to 'accidentally' dial the wrong number and listen to something more interesting instead (but not really, kiddies - we'll leave that sort of thing down to the old pervs, and Andy).

Talking of progressing (which we were a minute ago), the Codies certainly seem to have got this flip-screen arcade adventure lark sussed out pretty well. In fact, I'm even going to say that Slightly Magic is better than the Dizzy games, because with the addition of spells (and having to collect them all, plus lots of other objects, in order to complete the game) you've got to think quite a lot more about what to do rather than simply using the correct thing in the correct place. The graphics and presentation are excellent too - full of colour and some nice bits of animation (such as the way you can sink into your cloak to duck) and some absolutely brilliant 128 soundtracks. All in all, Slightly Magic is, well, absolutely 'magic' really.


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1 You. (Actually there are 4 of you, but don't worry - it's just because we've stuck loads of screenshots together!)

2 Here's a dragoin, who won't let you past. How about a drink (from the appropriately coloured bucket, of course).

3 Your magic wand - you need to match this up with the spell book before you can cast any other spells.

4 Er, you again.

5 A magnet. Good for picking up pins and things which you can't otherwise reach.

6 This blue bucket of water would be handy to get past that blue dragon over there (then you'll be able to pick up that thing next to him).

7 A spooky ghost. (Avoid.)

8 If you should, however, want to scare away any other ghosts, then pick up this skull and use it in a spell.

9 Some spikes.

10 Hello, Mr Rock Person. Would you like some rocks for your tea?

11 Remember that magnet? Well, you could use it to pick up the pin, and then use that in turn to burst the bubble.