At last! Steg has arrived. We first previewed this slimy caper ages ago, we even saw a demo of it in SU. So there we were, sitting back in our chintzy chairs wondering when the full game would pop through the letterbox.
It didn't come, and then we read a review of Steg in SU. Hurrah! Any day now, it would be with us. So we waited, and waited. It didn't come so we called CodeMasters and asked them where our copy of Steg was. Had they forgotten us? They were a tad bewildered. "It isn't ready yet. We've only got a demo version of it. Its not going to be finished for ages 'cos the programmer's gone away for a while." But now the programmer has returned to his office and Steg has arrived. Is it worth the wait?
Steg is a slug with loads of children to feed. He's got to capture little worms in bubbles, which can then float upwards to the T'yungunz and get eaten. On each level you've got to make sure that you keep a certain number of T'yungunz in worms 'cos if they're not fed then they'll shuffle off this mortal coil and appear on screen as little tombstones. This sentimental ploy is probably meant to make you feel incredibly guilty and it works. You have, in effect, just killed your children.
In its most basic form, Steg is a platform game. But as Steg is a slug he can't actually jump from platform to platform. Instead, he slimes around the walls, slowly moving upwards and blowing sticky bubbles. It might sound like a bit of fun to us humans, but blowing bubbles is serious business if you're a slug. In fact, it could kill you if you're not careful. Y'see Steg's bubble-blowing capabilities are directly linked to his energy bar. He has to take a very deep breath, hold it 'til the worm wriggles into the capture area and then blow - too much holding his breath and he'll suffocate.
A lot of the worm-filled bubbles don't float upwards to the T'yungunz. they get stuck under platforms and you have to crawl up and nudge them down and then try and send them upwards again. Then some of them are burst by spikes or blown apart by terrible wind machines. Steg is a very tricky game indeed. You do get some help, by sliming over the power-ups you can increase your blowing power, speed up, make your legs expand to extreme lengths or fly! The jet packs let you move up the level so you can see just how those T'yungunz are getting on.
Not only is Stag an original game, it's also a blimmin' addictive one. It really is too much seeing all those baby T'yungunz die. You just have to have another go at rescuing them. The graphics are fine, you can see exactly what you're doing and there are no problems at all with the controls. Slog is a spanky little slimey bubble of a game and I want to take it home!
Uppers: Steg's got bucketloads of the most important gaming ingredients - playability and addictiveness.
Downers: Steg has obviously been honed to perfection by the programmer. There really is nothing to complain about.
Steg is a fine game, in fact it's a right little charmer!
It's only the first level and already one of your T'yungunz is looking a bit under the weather. Quickly! Find a worm!
Oh isn't that sweet! All your T'yungunz are fine and healthy. They've eaten a fine batch of worms.
Blimey, this is difficult! (As you can probably tell by the fact that I've nearly killed all my children. They look like little round faces with top hats don't they?)