From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
GAME DESIGNER:Ryan Clark
GAME DEVELOPER:Grubby Games
GAME PUBLISHER:Grubby Games
Copyright 2005, Grubby Games
One of the best and most original brainteasers I have ever come across, Professor Fizzwizzle is an ingenious game from Grubby Games that plays like the “best-of” combination between zany contraptions from Incredible Machines series, and devious puzzles from Deadly Rooms of Death. You play Professor Fizzwizzle, whose robots have gone crazy. Your ultimate goal is to get to the control room on your lab island in order to reprogram the robots. Naturally, you have to navigate hundreds of puzzle-filled rooms scattered all over the island before getting to the final room.
The best thing about Professor Fizzwizzle, like all great puzzle games, is the cleverness of puzzles. Since you (the professor) cannot jump, you have to carefully plot each move, lest you may accidentally trap yourself between crates or barrels, fall down, or otherwise cannot reach the exit transporter. Most puzzles require you to ingeniously move crates or roll barrels into the right position to create paths or press buttons to option gates, and use various gadgets such as magnets (which stick to metal things, such as elevators, metal crates, and gates) and ice guns (which freeze robots and crates so you can slide them over sand) at the right time. Timing is also important: for example, on many levels you need to roll barrels into the trampoline (that bounces them back) and stop them at the right time. You can walk on barrels, slide on icy surfaces, and climb ladders.
As if dealing with crates, gates, and gadgets isn’t enough, you have to deal with crazy robots in some levels. Once the robots catch you, it’s game over. But on the upside, you can freeze them with the blaster (if you can collect this gadget on that level) or disable them with magnets. Disabled robots behave like crates, so disabling them at the right time is an important requirement to solving many puzzles.
Professor Fizzwizzle is a difficult game, but fortunately it is very user-friendly and forgiving. You can retry each level as many times as you want, and many “hint boxes” explain key gameplay concepts gradually. The game also has no time limit, so you can spend as much time as you want. Best of all, you can see the solution for each level if you really can’t figure it out – every time I use this option, I can’t help but feel amazed at the ingenuity of the designer The first twenty levels are so are “tutorial levels” in which you will learn about one or two game concepts at a time. There are also easy levels for kids, making the total of 230 levels in the game. If these are not enough, you can design your own levels with the included level editor.
For only $19.95 (with a 60-day money back guarantee to boot), I had much more fun with Professor Fizzwizzle than I had with most higher-priced commercial games I bought in the past few years. If you love DROD or clever puzzlers in general, you simply cannot miss this excellent underdog. Two thumbs up, and a proud entrant into our Hall of Belated Fame.