Sinclair User22nd January 1990
Published in Sinclair User #98
Until you've actually bought Rainbow Islands and played it, the following review may well seem a bit overenthusiastic.
But it really really is the most addictive, playable and thoroughly excellent game I've seen in an absolute age. The New Zealand Story was a brave, and largely successful attempt at the genre, but Rainbow Islands blows it away. For a start, the game is absolutely packed with fast moving colour graphics, bonus icons and strange bad guys.
The days of the Rainbow Islands are numbered. Their colourfulness simply makes them too heavy and they're sinking into the sea. You've got to work your way to the very top of each island before you, well, drown really. Each island is populated with hundreds of peculiar denizens, all deadly to the touch. Using your (initially limited) rainbow-casting ability combined with a spritely jump, you're upward bound...
You can make a fair amount of progress up the island simply by jumping from one platform to another. A far more efficient and exciting mode of transport, though is available through the rainbows. No normal illusion produced by sunlight filtering through raindrops these. Oh no. You can walk on these rainbows and even kill the pesky island inhabitants with them.
Should you pick up some of the special potions scattered around, your rainbow will double in length, offering a much broader kill area and a longer bridge, giving access to more remote areas.
Once you've bumped off an alien, it'll turn into a power-up/bonus. Among these are Speedy boots (make you go faster), Smart bombs (kills everything on screen) and Potions (explained earlier). Others are simply score-incrementing pick-ups.
The colour graphics are remarkably well handled, and even when the screen is scrolling upwards, the action remains as smooth as silk, attribute problems virtually eradicated.
If you're a fan of the runny/jumpy genre, then this is the game for you. Even if you're not, and would rather have red hot needles thrust into your eyes than play this sort of game, now is your chance to wise up; Rainbow Islands is the most entertaining game released for months.
Truly excellent conversion of an "unconventional" coin-op