Number 221B Baker Street is home to TWO great detectives. Upstairs with pipe, violin and Doctor Watson is Sherlock Holmes. Down in the basement is Basil, Mouse Detective. His mission is to find his friend, Doctor Dawson, kidnapped by the evil Professor Ratigan in this licence from the Walt Disney film.
Basil starts in one of London's seedy waterfront districts. By clambering through letter boxes, he can enter houses, to scuttle beneath, around and over furniture, climb short flights of stairs, clamber on top of crates and leap from shelf to shelf, earning points by completing a screen.
Jars, crates, sacks and carpetbags often conceal clues, such as a gun, a letter, locks and keys, which can be examined by our rodent hero. If a hidden object is revealed it appears in the great mouse's magnifying glass at the side of the screen, and if Basil considers the clue helpful enough he can pick it up and carry it. But not even a master mouse's pockets are bottomless.
And the cunning Ratigan has left eight false clues; Basil can't discover which are real and which aren't till he's filled five icon clue boxes.
Ratigan's henchmen are out to do the smart mouse down, too, though Basil can restore his vital get-up-and-go by nibbling at the pieces of cheese some friend of law and order has left lying around.
And he can collect mousetraps, dropping them in the pathway of his foes to pin them out of mischief.
Once Basil has gathered all he needs from the river area, he moves on to the sewers of Old London town. If the tiny 'tec manages to battle his way through these subterranean darknesses he can at last confront Ratigan himself and rescue the rodent Dawson.
'I doubt Basil The Great Mouse Detective will be very addictive, even if you can identify all the Walt Disney characters. And perhaps there are too many screens for very young players to manage - so who's it aimed at?'
BYM ... 68%
'With all those Walt Disney films on Christmas TV this'll make the ideal present for any little child's stocking. The characters are very Walt Disneyesque, though the wiry graphics aren't as attractive as they could have been. It's also sad to hear such a bad title tune. Still, the concept of the game is appropriately simple for its young market - though that doesn't mean anyone will find it easy to complete.'
PAUL ... 78%
: Cursor, Kempston, SinclairGraphics
: attractive, cartoonySound
: poor title tuneGeneral Rating:
A simple tie-in which Gremlin intends for the youngest players.