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Code Masters Ltd
1991
Arcade: Platform
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

28
James Leach
Chris Bourne

The Codies seem to take great delight in mistreating their little pet egg, Dizzy. He's been thumped, kicked, bashed, scrambled and dropped in his games so far. Now the cruel so and sos to drown him.

Actually, CodeMasters are using this game to fill in a blank in Dizzy's rather stupid history. There seems to be a fuzzy part of his life in between when Captain Blackheart made Dizzy walk the plank and when he was washed up on the island in Treasure island Dizzy.

Bubble Dizzy is supposed to tell the mystic tale of what went on in those fear-filled moments. You see, the water he was dropped into was rather deep. He tumbled into a series of underwater caverns, and arrived at the bottom in one piece. Now of course he wants to head for the surface even though, being an egg, he doesn't actually breathe.

To rise through the water, Dizzy has to hitch a ride on the bubbles which are coming out of the sea bed. The bubbles, which are rather fragile things (according to CodeMasters), burst after a while, so must make the ride last as long as possible.

I've got a query about this. If the bubbles Dizzy's riding on are underwater, how can they burst? Where does the air go? Up his bum? The simple truth is that bubbles cant burst underwater. I checked in the YS Book Of All World Knowledge and confirmed that the Codies are talking crap.

Anyway, as well as these bubbles, there are oysters containing peas which you need to collect. These are guarded by vicious sea creatures. There are electric eels, huge whales, sea horses and other fishy foes, aquatic adversaries and piscean perils. (Good bit of writing, that.)

SOME MORE GOOD WRITING

The game has about eight levels, each following on from the last in some vaguely logical order. (Have you actually played this game, James? Ed) For example, you eventually come ashore next to the ship where the evil Captain threw you in, then you've got more to worry about than simple bubbles. Yes indeed, there are land creatures giving you grief.

The thing with Bubble Dizzy is that it relies tremendously on luck. The bubbles emerge at random, and the only way to rise on them is by jumping on a slow one or leaping into space and hoping for a last one to come up and catch you from behind. The bubbles burst in the wrong places, no doubt because the programmers had a bad drive into work that morning. This means that you'll usually have to leap just as it bursts in order to get onto a ledge.

Luckily, the sea creatures around you move in set patterns. They ignore you completely, making it possible for you to try and time your upwards moves when they aren't directly overhead. Sounds fine in principle, but when you're panicking 'cos you haven't seen a bubble for ages and the shark is coming around for another pass, you'll forget everything you're supposed to be doing and just hammer the fire button to jump.

Graphics and sound are welL up to the usual Codies standard, and Dizzy is just as you've always known him, if slightly more hard-boiled. He's still pretty much a sprightly little fellow with bouncing arms and a variety of facial expressions. Shame he's going to drown, then isn't it? (Hur hur)

In an increasingly monochrome Speccy world, there's plenty of colour around as well. It's rather touching and, I always feel, slightly moving (Steady on, Monsieur Leach. Ed) to see that CodeMasters a still making their games bright, brash, noisy and exciting, oh, and rather smooth with it, even if there is the odd colour attribute clash.

Yes indeedy, Bubble Dizzy is an arcade-type game of the choicest amusement. It's as addictive as only the Codies know how. Well, a few other people know how as well, but probably not quite as much as the Codies.

Anything wrong with it? Well, as I said so succinctly above, it's a rather tough game, relying on your dogged persistence and gritted teeth rather than incredible skill and bodacious timing. This is the main difference between this Dizzy game and all the others. Also, there are no quests to go on like in the other Dizzscapades.

Oh yeah, and Dizzy can't go around collecting things to use later, either. So in fact the two styles are really rather different.

So, if you don't mind being frustrated and annoyed because you've just fallen to the seabed for the thousandth time, pick up Bubble Dizzy in WH Smith's, walk briskly up to the sales staff and express your desire to own it. It's fairly wise to make sure you have the correct payment about your person at this stage. If you haven't you'll be in for a serious bit of embarrassment. Anyway, assuming you have the monies required, those ever-friendly and helpful staff should ease you through the following financial transaction effortlessly. You are then free leave the shop with your newly-acquired purchase. The game is then yours to treasure or transform into a brooch. The decision is yours!

Enjoyable but frustrating trip to Davy Jones' locker. Take a rolled-up newspaper with you.

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BLIM!

The first person to make smelly bubbles in the bath was Confucious. This happened the morning after he ate the very first baked bean, egg and kebab sandwich.

5 FRIGHTENING UNDERWATER FACTS

The Loch Ness monster lives underwater, but has been seen crossing local roads in the dead of night.

Most electrical things don't work underwater, except, strangely, submarines (and aqualungs).

And James Bond's car.

A man once spent four hours underwater in a swimming pool without an aqualung, but when he came up he was dead.

The moon has no water on it, but if it did, there'd probably be loads of otters and trout living there. And bream. And chubb. And halibut.

Screenshot Text

Dizzy rises happily on his egg, unaware that his head is about to be crushed in by that overhanging ledge above him. If this happens he falls back to the bottom and you cry.

Avast, ye barnacled varmints! Shiver me timbers or I'll gi' ye a lick o' the cat, ye lily-livered landlubbers! (Was that all right, Larry?)

Proof that sharks will eat eggs. Dizzy, having fallen off a bubble, disappears down the throat of a ferocious undersea predator. This bit would be even more enjoyable if you could hear his screams as he's munched by the monster.