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.
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