One of the cartoon world's most enduring characters now appears in an arcade game where he gets to do what he always does: fight with Bluto for Olive Oyl's attentions. The game's main claim to fame is the large animated characters that gallivant around. Popeye and Bluto look musclebound and mean.
The game takes place on 16 screens where you, as Popeye. have to collect 25 hearts and give them to Olive. She has to be constantly supplied so that her 'love level' doesn't fall too low. The screens are a collection of buildings, ropes, stairs and strange objects that you can walk in front of and, in many cases, behind. This last factor is important in avoiding the dangers that occur on many screens.
Apart from Bluto prowling near Olive's house there are other creatures. If any of them hits you you'll be laid flat out. Only a can of spinach will revive you. To avoid these collisions you need to duck into doorways, climb out of harm's reach or jump down to somewhere.
If you aren't carrying spinach or if Olive's 'loveometer' runs out, the game ends.
There are three main types of object in the game: hearts, spinach and keys. The keys all look the same but particular ones open specific doors, so you have to complete sections of the game in the right order. There are other objects: a coin, fuse and bottle for instance. Their purpose should become clear as you encounter particular screens.
Despite the large figures the graphics don't really impress. They're too chunky and clash with the backgrounds too often. The gameplay doesn't require much puzzling, but you will have to do a fair bit of exploring and trial and-error before getting far. Some of the places you can reach aren't immediately clear - like getting on the UFO and where you can get off it so perseverance is needed even if it looks as if there's no way out.
It's a dated game idea, but it's still enjoyable and has some good animated characters.
Popeye is certainly as large as life in this game. Some characters take up practically a third of the screen they are big and in most cases bad for your health. An extremely colourful game - possibly overdone, with some abominable colour clashing. Some humorous touches add to the game, but nothing over the top. No lasting appeal; in fact I think I'll switch off.
Lots of lovely shades of green.
P. Large animated characters.
P. Ability to go in front of and behind things.
P. Tough working out the right route.
N. Chunky graphics and garish colours.
N. Not much puzzling.
N. Annoying to walk off the edge of a screen and straight into a creature.