Computer Gamer1st May 1985
Published in Computer Gamer #2
Gribbly's Day Out
Gribby Grobbly is a full grown Blabgorian. It is his task to prevent the young Gribblets from being caught by the evil Seon and also from the rapidly evolving Pod/Topsy/Stomper who will try to use them to replace their rather inadequate brains. Blabgorians are highly intelligent creatures and use a form of mental energy known as PSI which enables them to levitate, fly and carry things.
Gribbly's task is to rescue the young Gribblets and carry them back to a place of sanctuary. He can either bounce along the ground or fly through the air. Control of him via the joystick is very cleverly done as it makes use of both inertia and gravity. This means that the faster you are going, the longer it takes you to stop. This is important as above the ground is a complicated web structure of negative PSI, built to restrain Seon and collision with this rapidly drains your positive PSI. Because of the inertia, it is very easy for things to get out of hand if your joystick control is poor and you end up bouncing around like a ball in a pinball machine.
As mentioned earlier, various other characters are after the Gribblets. Being a generally peaceful race, you have no weapons at your disposal (that is why Seon was not killed, but contained in the web). You can however blow bubbles which will affect some of the creatures and you can manipulate the web to control Seon. Extra energy can be obtained either by successfully rescuing a Gribblet, or eating a PSI-grub.
There are sixteen screens in all. You always start off with the same one, but they appear randomly after that. You must successfully complete a screen before moving on to the next which means rescuing at least six of the eight Gribblets. Your score can decrease as well as increase depending on what you do. How well you are doing at any given time can be determined by the look on Gribbly's face which ranges from a beaming smile to a dirty frown. Sound effects throughout the game are excellent.
Gribbly is one of the most endearing computer characters I have come across. Everything about him from his shape, his movement and his facial appearance is appealing. But it is not only that that makes this an excellent game. It is the extra attention to detail, like being able to switch to a black and white mode if you don't own a colour television or altering the volume control from within the program. A highly original and well presented game. Go out and buy it.