Getting back to eggy roots with Dizzy, the gaming star of yesteryear, I review the Android implementation of the game
First published here at SquareGo
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Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk
Back in the early days of computers, when the world was young and the mighty lords Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum ruled over all the lands of gaming, there was a rush of bedroom programming. From within the midst of these coding geniuses came Dizzy, an anthropomorphic egg, complete with lipstick red boxing gloves and boots whose shiny white bonce would spin and tumble as he quested all around.
That was back in 1986. This is 2012 and Codemasters has given back those days of heartfelt childish glee that we felt, even as far as 1991 when Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk (DPOTYF) was released. Taking advantage of the portability and power of the mobile tablet platform, this marks possibly the first in a revolution of classic retro gems being re-released on the humble iOS and Android devices.
So what is it all about? Well for those of us not old enough to vividly remember the 80s, the style is simple. Dizzy and his beloved egg-spouse Daisy have been separated by a slew of horrid circumstances, including Dizzy’s incarceration, the theft of Daisy’s cherries and Mrs Egg herself having fallen into an enchanted sleep after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. So it’s up to Dizzy to escape and set all things right, namely collecting the cherries and completing a series of bizarre tasks to restore the natural order of things.
The game has undergone several changes in the process of being re-coded, including wonderfully neat cartoon graphics & modernised items, an MP3 player replacing the Ghetto Blaster being the most obvious, and more importantly, the modification from what was originally a joystick or keyboard controlled game onto a touchscreen interface. Dizzy can be moved by touching the arrows at either side of the screen, and jump using a a pair of diagonals above them. Finally, there are two more keys: one jumps vertically, while the other is a generic ‘use’ button. It all works very well, with Dizzy even picking up some speed after the walk button is held for a few seconds.
Despite this however, the plot and indeed the solutions are all but unchanged from the original, so old hands beware – this won’t hold many surprises. Being the shortest Dizzy game, it really doesn’t last all that long once you know the solution. There is a fundamental problem in the game’s mechanic where characters speak to Dizzy once and thereafter there is no way to recall or re-view their message. This means that should you play it for a few minutes then stop and return a week later you’ve no way of figuring out what random item fits which character.
If this wasn’t enough, there is a whole plethora of items littered around the map which are entirely superfluous to completing the game, and considering Dizzy can only hold three at a time this simply adds minutes of backtracking when you realise you left a quest item on the opposite side of the map.
For the mere pound and a half that is being asked for this nostalgia trip, a halfway decent, if short, platforming adventure isn’t too bitter a pill to swallow. We just wish it’d been a much bigger pill, with more sugar.