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Head over Heels

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Jon Ritman & Tomaz Kac

GAME DEVELOPER:OCEAN

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2003, Tomaz Kac

Head Over Heels is an amazing PC remake of out of the best Spectrum ZX games – indeed for all systems – ever made. Set in a pseudo-3D environment, Head over Heels is a unique game that offers an intriguing blend of puzzle and action genre, with a strong emphasis on the former. The wacky plot goes as follows: you control Head and Heels, two top spies sent from the planet Freedom to stop Blacktooth, an evil tyrant who has enslaved four planets and is poised to expand his control further. Each of the duo has unique abilities, and they must work in concert to succeed. Head can jump and stun enemies with his doughnut-gun, while Heels is the faster runner and the only one who can carry objects. Best of all, you can combine both heroes together into a new character, with the abilities of both.

One of the best things about HoH is the wonderful sense of humor. For example, there’s the Reincarnation Fish that can create a clone of Head and Heels when either of them dies — one of the most inventive save game features ever. Then there’s the Hush Puppies, who sleep for their entire lives and can be used as building bricks. The enemies are no less weird. You will deal with jellybeans, fruit machines, daleks, and even Prince Charles!

But a sense of humor alone cannot turn a game into instant classic, and fortunately HoH shines in the gameplay department as well. There are even two major goals that affect how you play the game: you can choose whether you want to liberate the planets, or just escape to your home planet. Like all good puzzle/action hybrids, there are multiple solutions to most puzzles – realizing later that there’s a shortcut after you have taken the long way to solve a puzzle is one of the things that make HoH so memorable.

This PC remakes recreates 300 puzzle-packed rooms of the original in the most authentic way – and even makes them look ten times better in vibrant SVGA resolution. While puzzle fans may be frustrated at first by the time-sensitive nature of the game that requires good reflexes in some levels, the ingenuity of room layouts and puzzles far outweigh this weakness. If you love 3D puzzle games or just creative action/puzzle hybrids in general, Head over Heels is a must-play that will occupies you for months on end. Highly recommended, and a well-deserved induction into our Hall of Belated Fame.



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