Anyone remember the old ads for Corona pop? Y'know, the one with the fat orange bubble ordering the others about (in a manner not unlike Top Cat), "Every bubble's passed its fizzical" etc etc? Warren Lapworth gets among similar fragile spheres for the latest day in the life of Dizzy.
Oh, a life on the ocean wave! Picture it: the sun, the see, the salt air, the waves (bluergh!), the seagulls plopping on your head. It's so relaxing...
But not for Dizzy! Immediately prior to Treasure brand Dizzy, nasty pirate Captain Blackheart (wooden leg, eyepatch, parrot - the works) captured the happy egg and forced him to walk the plank! Dizzy found himself on the sea bed, his air supply rapidly running out and no obvious means of escape! What was he to do?
Well that's where you come in, steering him to the surface and Treasure Island. How? Simple. Bursts of oxygen leak from the sea bed, forming bubbles which the stranded eggy-weg can hop onto and use as graceful (if somewhat unusual) underwater elevators.
Er, okay, it's not that simple: Dizzy isn't the most sylph-like of ovoids so the bubbles soon pop under his weight. To continue his upward progress, he must fall or jump onto another bubble, as or before his current transport bursts. Alternatively, he can hop onto ledges jutting out from rock walls before hitching a ride on a passing bubble.
Okay, okay, I'll come clean, it isn't even that simple: various aquatic predators lurk in the underwater caverns Diz finds himself in, and they're not about to offer him a jelly baby. Electric eels, whales, sharks, octopuses (octopi, if you're a snob) etc wander about, getting in the egg's way.
Should Dizzy come into contact with any of these creatures, a fraction of his precious air supply is lost. When it falls to zero, Dizzy drowns and loses a life.
His air supply also acts as a time limit, gradually used up as he attempts to escape from his watery prison. However, when bubbles burst under Dizzy's feet a fraction of its air is added to his supply.
Oysters are scattered around various ledges and landing on one earns Dizzy the shiny new pearl inside it! When he reaches dry land, a pearl bonus is added to his score before he's sent to the next level of bubble-hopping fun.
I won't beat around the bush (madam) - this is the worst Dizzy game ever. Bubble Dizzy makes eating soup with a fork look easy. And it's not even a case of becoming used to the game and the skills it demands, because progress is most often through luck rather than judgement.
Presentation's good, Dizzy spiralling to the sea bed in the title screen then hanging onto the gangplank as Blackheart stamps on his fingers during the game intro. The graphics are pleasantly defined - even though Dizzy looks like a fat chicken drumstick with arms - but eels, swordfish and so on are surrounded by colour dash blocks.
I've spent too long working my way toward the surface only to fall right down again, no bubbles to support me, and waiting on a crag watching my air supply trickle away, no bubbles appearing beneath me, to be able to recommend Dizzy's latest escapade. Toughened gamers with the patience of several saints may give it a try, but repeatedly bashing your head against a brick wail is generally more productive.
This is one of the games, that was supposed to be part of the Dizzy's Excellent Adventures collection but didn't quite make it in time. It isn't exactly brilliant; Dizzy looks nothing like the hero we know and love and the gameplay is so frustrating I couldn't stand to play it for long. Jumping from bubble to bubble is an almost impossible task. They don't last very long before they pop and the creatures that inhabit the depths are always in your way. There's a nice animated sequence at the start of the game where the pirate makes Diz walk the plank, but it can't be bypassed so you have to sit through it each time you play! The background graphics and nasties are great but it should have been called Mr Potato Head not Dizzy! it takes a lot of practice to get past the first few levels but it you think you have enough patience, try it out.
Reviewer: James Leach
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!
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
Having been stuck in many seemingly impossible situations during hard-boiled Dizzy adventures I've often thought about the amount of pleasure drowning the little sod would be.
It's strange and spooky, but Captain Nasty the pirate commander obviously had the same idea but was able to carry it out, pushing poor Dizzy over the edge of his ship from the end of a gangplank. Now Dizzy's at the bottom of a deep underwater chasm with no-one for company except dangerous swordfishes, whales and seahorses, none of whom are particularly enamoured at the thought of having a pickled egg for an aquatic neighbour. And whose job is it to get Dizzy out of this situation? Yours of course!
The game is called Bubble Dizzy because in order to escape from each chasm, Dizzy must hitch a ride on gas bubbles which rise from the ocean floor like Perrier bubbles in a big, big bottle. Big bubbles are slower and burst sooner than small bubbles but they are easier to catch. But if you manage to grab a really small bubble you'll go shooting up the chasm at a terrific rate! The game sounds much easier than it actually is and although you may get bored with it at first, it does grow on you and get very difficult too as you progress through the levels.
Graphics and sound are quite basic but playability is good and makes Bubble Dizzy worth a look for those fans of Dizzy who want something different.
Hah! Bubble Dizzy is unfortunately less than effervescent, but is a worthwhile romp for all Dizzy fans whilst his underwater antics may leave others a little high and dry.
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