The world is divided on the merits or otherwise of Don Priestly, creator of Popeye, Trap Door and sundry other braintinglers. Critics, naturally enough, love him - there's nothing else like his gaems, with their enormous sprites, devilish puzzles and extraordinarily hard gameplay - but the punters disagree strongly. Some find the games too slow, some too fussy and others too damn hard. I'm on Don's side, though. Yes, the games - and Gregory Loses His Clock is no exception - are viscously difficult. Yes, there's no compromise with the fainthearted who wonder what's going on. But, my, what good games. This one sees the young Gregory of the title go to bed, nod off and immediately have his beloved alarm clock snaffled by thieving ghosts. Greg then gets himself thrust into Dreamworld, and has to find five bits of his alarm clock before 12 o'clock in order to escape. Every screen presents a new conundrum, leading you first to scratch your head in frustration, then get violent as you fail to work it out, then open the bubbly when you finally crack it. The sprites are as vast as ever, the strategies needed to get anywhere are often extremely sophisticated, and, best of all, I've got the cheat sheet and you haven't. This is the best new cheapie I've seen in yonks, if not since I started writing this page 18 months ago, and certainly one of the few to merit the coveted Megagame sticker. Well played, Don - and, meanwhile, anyone who likes their minds stretched before breakfast should invest the necessary quidlets immediately.
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