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Fantastic Dizzy

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:The Oliver Twins

GAME DEVELOPER:Codemasters

GAME PUBLISHER:Codemasters

Copyright 1994, Codemasters

Fans of Spectrum computers would recall that Codemasters’ Dizzy series were some of the best games ever made for that computer. Created by a quirky pair of designers who call themselves The Oliver Twins, the series feature Dizzy, prince of the egg-shaped people (okay, they’re actually eggs) who are, quite ingeniously, called yolkfolk. The games are either arcade adventure, or arcade-style puzzlers. The series is memorable for eccentric level design, great music, and wonderful cartoon-style sense of humor. There were 15 Dizzy games made for the Spectrum, only 7 of which were ported to the PC.

Fantastic Dizzy (a.k.a. Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy) is one the few Dizzy games that were not released for the Spectrum, the system on which the series was well known. Instead, Fantastic Dizzy was first released on the NES, followed by the PC, Sega Master System, and Game Gear versions. It was also notable for being the last adventure-style Dizzy game ported to the PC (the series itself has one more adventure-style game, i.e. Dizzy The Adventurer, but that was the NES remake of Prince of The Yolkfolk, which was released earlier for the PC). Gameplay should by now be old hat for anyone who has played the previous three Dizzy games. You guide Dizzy, the little egg man, as he wanders around a leafy forest (as well as a medieval-looking town, a lost mine and an underwater section in this particular episode), picking up bizarre objects and using them in even more bizarre ways to solve strange puzzles. Fortunately, the first few puzzles are easy ones designed to get you into the swing of things (e.g. use the plank of wood to make a bridge across the spikes, give the big lump of meat to the monster to stop him from eating you). The puzzles quickly become devious, giving you the kind of mind-wracking frustration that makes for a real sense of reward when you finally solve one. Solving puzzles often opens up whole new areas, with different backdrop, so you always have an incentive to grit your teeth and move on.

In addition to fun adventure puzzles, Fantastic Dizzy also introduces a few arcade sub-games to the standard Dizzy formula, including an Operation Wolf-style shooting gallery and a tile-shuffling puzzle game where you can win extra lives, but these are mere icing on the cake. Overall, if you are a Dizzy fan, Fantastic Dizzy is a great game that is well worth the time spent. It’s much longer, looks better, and sounds better than previous Dizzy games. Highly recommended, especially if you like twisted puzzles a la Coktel Vision’s Goblins series.



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