Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Roger Danison
Those dawgawn Yankies are at it again. Trying to buy up our ancestral heritage and ship it back to their homeland to give it a dollop o' culch.
This time they're after one of our lesser known historical monuments, Shilmore Castle. Hidden amongst the craggy peaks of the highlands of Scotland the castle is home to no-one but a couple of strange creatures called Olli and Lissa - who kiss each other a lot - and a crabby old ghost called Sir Humphrey.
As ghosts are destined always to haunt their own abode, the migration to the US of A means that Sir Humphrey will have to scoot off there too. How will he cope with the culture shock? No green and pleasant land over there, only a lot of smog, the odd mugger or two and plenty of noise in an LA suburb. Olli and Lissa are naturally worried about losing their spooky friend so they set about hatching a plan to scare off Eugene Port-Cullis III (Jnr) away.
Sir Humphrey decides that people nowadays don't take ghosties and ghoulies very seriously. All that jangling of chains and going 'Whooo' is very old hat. What is needed is an unseen presence to scare the living daylights out of Eugene P and dissuade him from buying the castle. Unfortunately, Sir Humphrey isn't one of those sophisticated ghosts who can materialise when and where he pleases. In order to make himself invisible he needs a special potion which must be simmered in a moderately hot cauldron for a couple of hours. So this is where Olli and Lissa come in.
Olli must scamper around Shilmore Castle collecting the vital ingredients while Sir Humphrey stirs the pot and shouts instructions and Lissa provides moral support - as well as the odd smackerooni for Olli. The only problem is that Shilmore Castle has more than one ghost. Sir Humphrey may be a grumpy old so-and-so, but he's a decent snake at heart. The other ghosts in the castle are a snooty crowd and are rather looking forward to a sojourn in sunny America for a while, out of the way of all those nasty Scottish draughts. They set out to make Olli's task ever more difficult by appearing in his path and dazing the poor mite into losing precious time.
There's a strict time limit for each object to be collected shown by a meter at the bottom of the screen. Olli must avoid the obstacles in his path and collect the required ingredient as Sir Humphrey demands. If Olli doesn't make it to the cauldron in time then the game is over and it's back to square one.
Each time a nasty ghosty makes contact with Olli he falls over and it takes him some time to recover, meanwhile the clock is being eaten away. However, once Olli manages to get the correct object and put it in Sir Humphrey's pot then he gets a huge girlie kiss from Lissa (eugh!) and progresses to the next screen. There are eight objects in all and once these have been added to Sir H's secret recipe he can down it in true Heeland style and become invisible. Then hopefully Eugene Port-Cullis III (Jnr) will take himself and his horrid entourage back to the States, leaving Olli and Lissa to carry on doing yucky things to each other and Sir Humphrey to get on with some serious spooking.
Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Protek/AGF
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: very competent
Graphics: good, if cute
Sound: jolly little tune at the beginning
Skill levels: one
Yet another great budget title from FIREBIRD. What's happening? At first it looks like a game for 'younger' people, as it contains cartoon-like characters and the idea behind the game is simple. After a few goes I reckon that if this was given to me when I was younger I'd have been tearing out my hair and screaming with frustration. Gameplay is fast - you really have to get a move on to complete the first level - and it's incredibly tricky. Timing has to be exact if you're going to jump that nasty. It looks pretty, has excellent sound effects and is compelling and playable too.
Olli and Lissa is driving me mad. And what's more, I don't mind; its great fun! The music on the title screen is remarkable, but even this aural havoc pales into insignificance when compared to the game. The graphics are horribly cute and the whole game reeks of being 'nice'. I really hated the so-called reward on the title screen; who wants a picture of Olli sneaking a sly one with Lissa while nobody's looking? Olli and Lissa is probably one of the best games I've seen from FIREBIRD for a long time. (Hang on, that's not saying much, is it!) Well worth that awkward two quid lying in the bottom of your pocket. Definitely one of the better budget games around.
Blimey! FIREBIRD aren't half putting out a lot of budget games at the moment. I just hope that they are all as good as Olli and Lissa. The first thing that strikes you is the way that the screen is laid out. Each screen is either fully monochromatic or splits into monochromatic bits. This gives you lots of colour on the screen but with no clashing. The game keeps very strictly to the storyline and this makes it all the more fun to play. I found it hard to get started, but once I'd got the jumping sorted out the rest was plain sailing. Although the bubbling pot crying out for special items is borrowed from Knight Lore and the monochromatic layout may be a bit old hat, Olli and Lissa is a perfectly acceptable budget game.
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