1987
Arcade: Platform
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

94,95
Robin Candy, Paul Sumner, Mark Rothwell
Chris Bourne

Fresh from his Sizzling exploits against the evil toy goblin and his nasty toys, Thing On A Spring (the alternative page margin hero from ZZAP!) sproings back (but for the first time on the Spectrum!) for some new adventures in toyland.

He finds himself in an industrial complex composed of 11 separate scrolling areas, connected by a system of wide and tangled ventilation shafts; through these our heroic coil tumbles. In the piping his somersaulting progress is blocked by minions, but Thing can turn at functions and reverse direction.

He can also collect points by touching Crowns stuck in the pipes.

Some pipes end in exits which hurl him into one of the toy factory's zones; there he finds more varied surroundings, a chaotic multilevel layout of slides, automatic bounce pads, unidirectional conveyor belts, elevating blowers, debilitating lasers, crumbling platforms and descending doors which block or trap him.

An unwary Thing is easily trapped and with no escape he has to quit the screen - which returns him to the ventilation shafts. Narrow gauge pipes snake through the factory; falling into one, Thing is taken uncontrollably to another part of that playing area.

Emerging from the pipe he must quickly move to one side to avoid slipping back into the funnel's gaping mouth.

But what of the Great Mission? To stem the flow of evil playthings, the bonce with a bounce must gather computer components: a tape, a disk, listing paper and ROM. Once they're found he can exit one playing area and progress to another.

Needless to say a horde of evil toys, still on the departed goblin' s pension scheme, do their best to push Thing from platforms and girders and back into the narrow pipes. Encounters with them reduce springboy's limited liquid engineering; the oil level is indicated onscreen by a descending propeller.

When lubrication is dangerously low, it's time to find an exit and return to the ventilation shafts where collectable oil cans exist. A total oil-out loses Thing one of his lives.

Bonuses can be collected by striking red mystery platforms on their undersides. They evaporate, and some reveal extra points, but others give a headache as a heavy weight clonks down on Thing's cranium.

CRITICISM

'My biggest gripe is that the Thing Bounces Back instructions tell you nothing about playing the game, so ft's a bit daunting at first. But once the controls are mastered Thing turns out to be playable, with fast and furious action. The scrolling is excellent, and isn 't done at the expense of the graphics which are colourful and reasonably detailed. Though essentially a platform game, Thing packs enough punch to keep the player enthralled.' ROBIN

'This has a fast and furious pace, and the play area hurtles round the screen at breakneck speeds. I doubt if there 's anyone out there who won't be addicted to this attractive game. Presentation Is superb - a pleasant ditty and a revealing little demo. I love the subscreen of ventilation shafts which Thing sproings about with the greatest of vigour, and all the screens are appealing to the eye - loads of colour and varied and detailed graphics, giving Thing Bounces Back a very realistic feel.' PAUL

'Never having played the original Commodore Thing On A Spring, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a game of a high standard both graphically and sonically. Thing and all the toys are nicely animated, and I like the boppy little tune on the title screen. But Thing Bounces Back lacks a bit In gameplay because it's so difficult, and soon becomes boring. A game to keep for a rainy Sunday.' MARK

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, O/K up/down, zero to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: all colours used very sensibly
Graphics: plenty of variety in the smallish sprites, fast and smooth scrolling
Sound: average spot FX, but nice title tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: 11 scrolling play areas, each 12 screens large, plus a pipe maze
General Rating: Excellent and refreshing arcade game with some neat touches, highly playable and addictive.

85%
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87%
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85%

Screenshot Text

Hurtling at enormous speeds through the toy factory's ventilation shafts, a wildly spinning Thing seeks an exit - and that's just what that green object top left is.

The factory is packed with ramps, platforms, conveyors and mystery blocks. To Thing's right a geyser spouts, to his right a pipe pouts.