By Faster Than Light
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #69


Brilliant! That's the only word to describe Hydrofool - the continuing adventures of Sweevo.

There I was, bored of playing games. Yes, I have to admit it. You know how it is. You've had a day where nothing has gone right - your mum has found your favourite dodgy mag under the bed, Enduro Racer holds no more challenges and you keep getting wiped out on the first stage of Nemesis.

Then, sneakily, along comes a game that takes you by surprise and keeps you up until the early hours, restoring your faith in the great games programmmer in the sky.


Hydrofool is one of these games. It's fun, terminally addictive and packed full of puzzles and jokes. If you thought Sweevo's World was the bees knees then you're going to go completely OTT over Hydrofool. The plot? Do you really want one? OK, here it is...

Sweevo, fresh from his success on his "world", returns to the Robo-Master only to be given another great job cleaning out the Deathbowl.

Now, the Deathbowl is a giant planet-sized aquarium which has become so polluted and packed with mutant creatures that the only thing to do with it is pull the plug. Or rather plugs.


Sweevo, armed with a deep sea diving suit, has to find the objects that will release the four plugs and empty the planet by placing them on pedestrals in the "plug rooms".

The objects are scattered around 200 rooms over six levels. Some are guarded some aren't. But you'll have to work out just what to do with what. And it's fun finding out!

Sweevo can fight off the aquatic enemies using weapons he finds in the many cavernous rooms. I've worked out a few - harpoons get rid of baby whales (what about Greenpeace?!), spoons kill off jellyfish, while horseshoes wipe out, what else, Seahorses.


Other objects help - a bone lures nasty shoals of Sweevo nibbling fish away while he collects a gnome. Why a gnome? Who knows - a further exploration of the game should explain.

You'll have to learn how to use air bubbles to take you from level to level, or simply help Sweevo overcome other obstacles.

Ride the bubbles to find out how high they'll take you. You'll soon discover where they take you. You'll also have to ride bubbles to reach certain objects tucked away in seemingly unreachable ledges in some of the rooms.

Whirlpools transport Sweevo to lower levels. Some of them are sneakily placed just inside doors - so you end up being sucked down even if you don't want to go!

Sweevo can collect anti-rust oil to keep his suit going in the polluted waters. It rusts as soon as you enter the water. Run out of oil and it's back to the surface again.

Clues and jokes appear in message windows at the bottom left hand side of the screen - which is similar in layout to Sweevo's World.

You can start the game from any one of four different locations - but can anyone tell me why they are all named after Elvis Presley songs? Return To Sender, Jail House Rock, O Sole O Mio and Heartbreak Hotel - is this another subtle Greg Follis plan? Answers on a postcard please!

The excellent music - yes, even on a Spectrum - comes from none other than Rob Hubbard - and is more than just a collection of beeps and burps. Graphics are - as you'd expect from Gargoyle - pretty neat. I particularly like the baby whale.

Overall, Hydrofool is the most fun you'll have with your Spectrum this summer - probably this year. The best game on the Amstrad since Batman. If you thought the arcade adventure was dead, think again - and think about raiding your piggy bank to collect the cash for your very own copy of Hydrofool. Don't miss this one!

Stop press: Just discovered that harpoons kill off the 'orrible Wolf Fish and that the Amstrad version is just as addictive as the Spectrum game. And as an extra added tip look "inside" the pedestals in the plug room for a clue to the objects you need.