4 out of 5
Cynical but fun pizza-related tie-in
Joining the dubious ranks of things like Zool
, Cool Spot
, Avoid the Noid is one of those games which was created to advertise a mainstream product unrelated to the world of videogames. In this case, it was pizza giant Domino's who sought a way to promote themselves by appealing directly to the gaming market but if you can overlook the blatant commercialisation of Avoid the Noid, it is actually a surprisingly decent little game, albeit one which doesn't provide a lot of long-lasting appeal. It's based on Domino's advertising campaign from the 1980s and sees the player taking the role of a delivery boy who must get his pizzas to the top floor of an apartment building. Blocking his way are numerous Noids, bizarre little creatures who have an unhealthy interest in destroying pizzas. Gameplay is pretty simple and involves running, jumping, rolling and of course avoiding Noids, in a series of side-on levels which are also populated by trapdoors and with later levels introducing Noids with pizza-seeking missiles and the like. For a brief bit of undemanding fun, this actually isn't bad, with action that is slickly put together and which is highly enjoyable. The graphics are decent enough, particularly the Noids which are characterful and well drawn, while the sound is even more impressive given the game's age, with neat digitised effects and some excellent music. However, while the game is reasonably challenging, it's not going to last forever and once you have completed it there is little incentive to return. While it does last though, this is an odd little curiosity that makes for a good time.