by Hugh Binns, J. Dave Rogers, Nick Jones, Raffaele Cecco, Nick Davies
Hewson Consultants Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 86, May 1989   page(s) 65

Label: Hewson
Author: R. Cecco
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Aaaargh! I can't take it! Not more lovely little pixie type elfin fairy folk! You know what the bad thing is? You don't get to kill them, you have to rescue the little mites. You don't get to harm a single one! Life just isn't fair sometimes.

You see, there's this evil Queen, right. An' what she's done, right, is kidnap all the little fairies and imprison them in these funny, hard to reach places. To save them, you have to work your winding way through an arcade adventure with more than a slight emphasis on the arcade element.

Each of the levels is set on a horizontally scrolling landscape full of all sorts of funny things. There are springboards that catapult you to areas unreachable by any other means. There are lots of different sorts of animated nasties, like the eggs that transform into flies when they hit the ground and the homing worms. Then there are the bubble spouting thingeys. They are annoying. They fire little bubbles into the air that you have to walk under. Time it wrong and you lose one of your eight lives. Eight might seem a little excessive, but believe me, you need them all.

Finally, there are the puzzles. These are made up of two parts. The first is an impassable object, the other is the means to get around it. For example, the first problem you find is a locked door. Close at hand is a key. You get my meaning?

It won't be long before you are linking puzzles like nobody's business, and it's then that you notice the glitch. The frustratingly unplayable glitch. There are just too many positions where you die through no fault of your own and there is nothing you can do about it. For example, at one point on the first level, you have to go through a Dragon's cave to get to one of the fairies. Dragons swoop past, killing you on contact. They swoop from above and they swoop from below. You can only fire forward. This means that if you are in mid jump and one swoops from below, then you get hit. There is just nothing you can do. It's this kind of bad planning that lessens the mark of what could have been a very highly rated game.

The graphics are great. There is no other way to describe them. Tons of colour. Large, well animated sprites, great explosions, smooth scrolling and no colour clash. I smell the hand of Cecco here, and I'm not wrong. One thing that did make me laugh was the slightly dubious use of naked female statues. Did he really have to put them in, and did they have to be so big? I can see the letters flooding in now.

As an arcade adventure, it's less than average. The puzzles are simple, and not in the slightest bit taxing, so the game has to fall back on its arcade elements, and as I've already said, as an arcade game, it's not all that hot.

So, what are we left with. A less than average arcade adventure, and a frustrating arcade game. It's by no means crap, it's just not as good as it's hyped up to be.

Graphics: 88%
Sound: 73%
Playability: 62%
Lastability: 73%
Overall: 71%

Summary: Not the best game Hewson's ever released. Not the worst, but not the best.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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