Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £5.90
Language: Machine code
Author: R. Rhodes & K. Burkhill
Platform-type games have certainly come a long way over the year. Gilligan's Gold is a good example of this development. Three screens, sitting side by side, make up the gold mine where Gilligan the intrepid hero is collecting the sacks and attempting to get them all into his wheelbarrow, which is up on the top level. The mine is a warren of passages and shafts with ladders in them and lifts. Sometimes the gold is behind a blocked wall and here the pickaxe comes in handy. It has a second use too - knocking outlaws over the head, for the mine is infested with them, and they are after Gilligan and the gold. They can also be knocked out by dropping gold sacks down shafts on top of them.
At the bottom of the mine a railcar runs up and down along the mine. It's possible to ride in this by hanging from the roof at a few marked points and then dropping onto the car at the right moment. This also works for the other railcars that run on the other levels. Gilligan is not allowed to fall more than a level or he loses a life, and being hit by a railcar isn't much better.
Control Keys: Q/W left/right, P/ENTER up/down, SPACE for all actions
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, Protek, AGF
Keyboard Play: responsive, but up/down and action keys are awkwardly laid out
Use of colour: good
Graphics: large definite shapes and generally good
Sound: continuous tune
Skill Levels: 1
Gilligan's Gold is another Commodore 64 to Spectrum conversion and unfortunately it hasn't come out as well as the other recent Ocean games. Needless to say though, it is still good, but the characters (you and your enemies) aren't as detailed as in the C64 version. The sound is very good, playing a nice little tune. This is a fun game to play, but I don't think it's got tremendous lasting appeal like, say, Decathlon, one of my all time favourites.
The graphics are not ultra-brill, but this does not spoil the game which is really challenging. There are quite a few features which really add to the game. I almost died laughing watching the demo, it had lots of funny bits in it. I enjoyed the game itself even more. It's a bit like a Harold Lloyd Buster Keaton arcade game.
Whatever's the matter with the programmers today - are they being paid by Arthur Scargill, or is it just a coincidence that everyone's gone mining mad; maybe they're lust slow to catch onto the Manic Miner trend? Gilligan's Gold is another mining game, but more so than the others. The fact is that you have got to collect the gold in your wheelbarrow, and hack away at walls with your pick, whilst being chased by outlaws. Animation is this game is quite wonderful in some respects, such as when you knock one of the outlaws out - you can see stars around their heads and when they're coming round they start to pant, and you see their stomachs start to rise and fall. Even details such as a barrow's wheel whizzes round as you push it. I must say I do like the mining carts, which can be your enemy or saviour. There are only three screens to this game, but I think there's plenty to keep you going for quite a while, and besides, if you clear all the three screens of gold, maybe there is a different type of layout - that's left for you to find out though! Taking everything into consideration, I think this will prove to be quite an addictive game as it is a very playable game. I like it.
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