Superb pair of platforming classics
Before there was Lara Croft (but sometime after Indiana Jones came along), there was another tomb raiding, whip-cracking, treasure finding hero, and his name was Rick Dangerous. Created by Core Design, who would later go on to develop the first Tomb Raider games, this is a collection of two classic platforming romps that are just full of puzzles and action and which are basically a delight from start to finish. The gameplay across both games is fairly similar, and sees players exploring a series of 2D multi-directional scrolling levels, each of which are packed with traps and bad guys. The main difference between the two games is the visual styling, with the original a more traditional, 1930s style slice of action, and with the sequel adopting a sci-fi theme. However, both games share a deliciously light-hearted approach, and are liberally dashed with humour. The joy of Rick Dangerous is the way it combines all its elements to near perfection, with cunning puzzles sitting alongside exciting action (who can forget the opening sequence where you are chased by a highly familiar boulder?). Players need a combination of quick wits and fast reflexes to survive here, thanks to some terribly ingenious level design. The traps that will cheerfully kill you will also kill your enemies, so the truly cunning player will figure out how to use the environment to help themselves out. The challenge is pretty high with both games, with traps appearing out of nowhere, and which require caution as well as boldness to survive, but this never detracts from the appeal. With charming visuals, plenty of levels to explore and a neat line in humour, Rick Dangerous really is a classic slice of platforming heaven that is just crying out for a modern update.