Go quackers with the star of stage, screen and broom cupboard, Edd The Duck! Regular follower of Children's BBC (me included) will know all about this little yellow fellow. He rose to stardom along with such personalities as Andy Peters and Simon Parkin on the daily TV spot. The only thing that separated him from these megastars was the fact that he had a hand up his botty!
Edd's task is to travel through different departments of the BBC, collecting 20 stars as he goes to become the ultimate star! He begins in the weather department, then special effects and finally into Children's TV. Contact with Wilson the butler's hand, or any of his cronies, result in the loss of one of Edd's filming takes. When all four takes have been used up filming stops and Edd heads down the stardom dumper.
Luckily for our feathered hero the special effects mob have come up with a snowball shooter for him to use. Firing this at any opponents freezes them for a few seconds, giving Edd just enough time to zoom by.
There is no mistaking that Edd The Duck is a tad similar to Rainbow Islands: cartoon style graphics and the vertically scrolling levels make you shout 'It's the Islands' as soon as it loads up! Thankfully the gameplay's slightly different. Edd jumps from platform to platform collecting the stars and freezing the nasties to get to the top. He can jump through the walls of large blocks to get to stars and if he touches anything deadly he reappears where he left off.
Progressing through the departments of the BBC is great fun as long as you're careful and don't charge about. Precise jumping is needed to collect the 20 stars on each level and mapping as you go is advised - that way you'll know what hazards are coming up.
Edd The Duck is obviously more appealing to younger Speccy players, although it's quite hard. The best thing about reviewing the game was the research: an afternoon watching Children's BBC!
Question: what looks like Rainbow Islands and is as fast and colourful. The answer is Edd The Duck! The cool dude mallard from Children's BBC is here in his own game and very good it is too. But then I always have been a sucker for a good platform game. The going is tough but not frustratingly so and with a bit of practice you can get Edd leaping around on the platforms like a gymnast. It s usually monochrome graphics that are highly detailed but his game proves that you can use all the colours of the rainbow and still pack in a lot of detail. Buy Edd The Duck how, you'll be quackers not to.
When you think about it, children's TV, past and present, is full of friendly, smiling presenters sticking their hands up various animals' bottoms. Harry Corbett was probably the first, giving Sooty cause to raise his eyebrows in mute surprise. I bet the little bear was happy when old 'H' popped his clogs. But then his dopey son, Matthew, came along and availed himself of a fluffy posterior.
And then there's Rod Hull and Emu - are you surprised he's such an aggressive bird?! Keith Harris's Orville deserves everything he gets, of course, but Gordon The Gopher's quite a lad. Do you think he's naturally that squeaky? Nope, unassisted by human digits he's a baritone for the local operatic society.
But what of Edd the Duck, Gordon's replacement as CBBC mascot? Well, he may have a sore botty but at least he has the honour of his very own computer game. Striving for megastardom, Edd has to travel through the BBC studios collecting stars.
There are 20 stars in each level, but plenty of nasty creatures out to stop him. Hitting them with snowballs (?!)stuns them for a few seconds, allowing little Edd to waddle past.
When first released on the Speccy (Issue 84), Edd The Duck received a warm welcome from both Nick and myself. Okay, it owes more than a little to Rainbow Islands for inspiration, but that isn't such a bad thing. I'm a sucker for a good platform game, and Edd The Duck fits the bill (ho ho) nicely.
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