Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

Arcade 1987 Dos Codemasters Software Company Limited, The Platformer Hop and bop Item collection

A cracking good time!

The Dizzy franchise is a true legend of eighties gaming, a largely successful series of puzzle adventures that introduced the world to the exploring egg and his chums. This is the first game in the line-up and while it's not quite the best (that award goes to either Treasure Island Dizzy or Fantasy World Dizzy), it laid down the foundations for what made the games so great and still stands up well today. The story to the game sees the evil wizard Zaks threatening Dizzy's world and it's up to the bold ovoid-shaped explorer to venture forth and find a series of ingredients which can be combined into a magic potion with which to defeat Zaks. What this translates into in gameplay terms is a multi-directional scrolling platformer that throws in inventory-based puzzles, making the game an exercise not only in skill but also cunning as you must figure out what each item is used for. There are plenty of enemies lurking around as well, making this a highly hazardous journey and what makes it even harder is that you can only carry one item at a time in your inventory, thus requiring plenty of back and forth. Really, it's this aspect which slightly limits Dizzy's appeal as it does get a little tedious at times, retracing old ground to pick up an object or returning to solve a puzzle. It's an issue which was fortunately dealt with in Treasure Island Dizzy and it's about the only thing which turns out to be a weakness here. The visuals are classic eighties stuff, with great sprites and environments which are a joy to explore, while the platforming and puzzles are fun and inventive. It is a difficult game though, but if you can stand the heat, you're in for a cracking good time.

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