Ah! Innit nice when you finally see a really good game, eh? Rekindles the old passion of the early days, dunnit? You remember, the thrill of loading up a new game, the wonder of a new world to explore, of maidens rescued and hi-scores attained... snort! Uh! Wurr... sorry, I was daydreaming there.
What am I so fired up about? Why, Spindizzy, naturellement. This is the closest thing yet to Marble Madness (that old slot-op fave rave) on the small yet humble Speccy. You are a Reconnaissance Land-Mapping Device called Gerald, and you have been sent by the Corporation (grrr) to map a new dimension. Time is money, and you must whizz around the narrow platforms in search of power crystals to prolong your life so you can finish the mission.
This may sound like a supercharged pac-thing to you but once you see this game in action you'll change your mind so fast your eyebrows will catch fire with the friction. This isn't a new computer game, it is the computer game on the Spectrum. Which ain't bad considering how stiff the competition is these days. So why is this so good, and why is this guy so excited about it, hmm? Well hang on a minute and I'll tell you.
Firstly the 3D isometric (corner view to you), standard in such games as Fairlight and the Ultimate type games, is the way you view the Spindizzy world. Not only that, but you can change the viewpoint any time you like with the touch of a key. Useful if you want to look around any bits of scenery that may be blocking your view. You can also change the form of Gerald from top, to gyroscope, and yes, to marble at the touch of another rubber keypad. (Mmm!) The speed and quality of the graphics are truly incredible, as is the realism of movement. Your Gerald has inertia, so when he starts moving it takes equal pressure in the opposite direction to stabilise him (I'm sure you've heard of Newton!) There's a sort of brake pedal too which stops you dead on any surface except ice or water - handy on those tight curves. There are interesting puzzles too, in the form of floor switches you must activate to start the lifts going between levels.
The biggest reason I can think of to recommend this game is the fact that it is addictive I could barely drag myself away from it to write this review... in fact... yes, I can see the start screen from here... perhaps just one more go...
This is a tricky bit! the technique here is to use a combination of the boost key, Fire, and your brake, Freeze. Boost yourself up the ramp on one side of the water, over the gap and down the ramp on the other side. When you reach ground level press the Freeze key, so that you stop dead instead of careening off the end at full gallop. Use the brake a lot on this screen and maintain control.
To get the gem at the top of the pillar in the foreground, you have to build a bridge across from the pillar next to the cross-shaped lift. First roll over the switch between the pillar and the doorway. This will insert the first section of the platform. Next toggle the switch between the lift pillar and the nearside wall. This will add the final section. Then roll to the square under the lift and apply the brakes. From then on it's all downhill. (Aaaaaaaah! Splat!)