A&B Computing1st February 1990
Published in A&B Computing 7.02
This game has been launched just in time for the Christmas period. The main idea of it is to locate the hourglasses of which there is one on each of the five levels. You then must find the teleport and teleport from that level into the next strange dimension of worlds. You are then given the password to the next level, in order to be able to jump there at a later date. Your ultimate aim is to finish all of the five levels in a row, gain the 100% score and find out the secret message.
During loading you are greeted with a red ball wearing sunglasses and bearing a large smiling face. Underneath him are the five dimensions of the fortress that he is about to venture into. Continuing on from here, some messages begin to scroll along the bottom of the screen, indicating to you to press space to continue, but if you wait... as I did, then you will be told the story of the Purple Butterfly, only to be found on the disc version! What this has to do with the game I don't know, but even so, it's quite entertaining learning about the adventures of the insectcollectogist trying to capture this rare butterfly. If you can manage to read all of these without going mad with boredom, then you are told about a built-in cheat, but of course you are not told how to activate it!
Carrying on from here, you are offered the chance of changing the keys, followed by the main screen, where you are offered choices of entering a password to enter higher levels, play the game or play the practice level. Your best course of action is to choose the practice option.
Fingers at the ready I began my adventure. Sprat (short for Small Partially Robotic Alien Time-traveller) moves around the screen, rather like the title suggests. He ricochets from the edges of the walls and, depending on how much you squish him, jumps to varying heights. As soon as you release the squish key, Sprat jumps in the direction that you have specified, by pressing either the left or right key. As this level is only a practice level, it is a good idea to get as much practice in as possible, before venturing onto the real game.
The idea of squishing is very much the main feature of the game - you cannot venture very far if you are not familiar with it. The graphics are very neat and ladders play quite a part in this game. Sprat moves amazingly well and very quickly and when he does move, he actually rolls. I liked the idea that when you stop Sprat he is sometimes the right way up but other times upside down!
The main reason that I liked this game is the nice graphics. On later levels, the graphics are totally different to the first level and include different objects and enemies. The way Sprat moves very smoothly and the puzzles such as what to do with objects like gold and a power drill are very nice touches.
Once you have completed as much practice as you think you need, you can go about playing the real thing. I got totally into the game, and when I wanted to jump, I actually referred to it as squishing as this is really the only word for it.
Enemies vary but on the first level there are spring-like monsters as well as deadly squares with rather peculiar eyes and men riding space-like motor bikes!
Objects can be picked up and dropped and throughout the game, various items of food can be found and eaten to increase your energy, which is shown as a bar down the side of the screen. A novel feature which I liked about the game, is the small picture of a door, which when you are in a room which has a door in it a letter appears underneath this small door to indicate to you what letter key you need to open it. Two objects can be carried at once by Sprat and if you map the game adequately the location of objects and doors are easily found.
I have found no faults in this game and I would thoroughly recommend this game to everyone. It is very (and I mean very) addictive!