Gregory Loses His Clock

by Don Priestley
Mastertronic Plus
Sinclair User Issue 94, January 1990   page(s) 41

Whoever wrote Gregory Loses His Clock (fnar!!) must have had a supper of pickled eggs, camembert cheese sandwiches, sprouts and salami the night before. It's definitely the product of a disturbed stomach, if not a disturbed imagination.

At first glance GLHC (weird title, but more accurately descriptive than say Extremely Strange Adventure) looks dire; I honestly thought it was one of these educational programs where little men with strangely shaped heads learn to count up to seven. In fact the star of the show IS a little man with a strange shaped head, but this is an arcade adventure not edsoft, thank you.

The crux, yes, the crux of the matter is that inoffensive little Gregory is prone to nightmares which take on a disturbing reality. During one of them his alarm clock is stolen and hidden in five parts in dreamland; if he doesn't retrieve the parts, he won't wake up on time (or ever, we assume).

As you can see from the pix there may be nothing remarkable about the plot, but the graphics are most odd; there huge and chunky, which is why the whole do looks like a Mr Crazy Counts to Ten program. The fact remains that using the keyboard or joystick you can interact with the backgrounds to pick up objects, put them in your pocket, and use them to negotiate the obstacles in your path.

Typical challenges include the Horrible Rising and Falling Pillars of Doom, which you have to walk across without being mashed to a pancake against the roof; the Fountains of Nastiness which bar you from entering various doors, and which can only be switched off by finding the correct waterwheels; and the Crazy Flying Sparks from Hell, which you can fight off using a popgun.

In later stages, finding a jumping bean allows you to jump over dangers, but it's hard to judge how extensive the game is because I find it a bit hard to play; if anything it's too easy, the solutions too obvious, so you don't tend to see them immediately. Perhaps it's really aimed at younger players.

Though there are some nice touches such as selectable messages giving you clues and showing the time remaining, there aren't any really snazzy graphics or sound effects. You might enjoy GLHC, or it might give you indigestion.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Don Priestley
Price: £.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Graphics: 50%
Playability: 30%
Overall: 60%

Summary: Strange arcade adventure which scores for novelty value.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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