Amstrad Action1st January 1992
Published in Amstrad Action #76
Spike In Transilvania
Nur nur nur nur... Whoops, that's our Speccy port warning siren going off. Yep, it's time for some of those one-colour graphics and transparent sprites so loved by the easily-pleased. Mind you, we reckon the gameplay is several billion times more important than the graphics anyway.
Spike In Transilvania is an arcade adventure. Here at Amstrad Action Towers we aren't all that good at Codemasters' arcade adventures, to be honest. We consider it a major achievement if we actually manage to get off the starting screen in a Dizzy game. But Spike is no normal Codies arc-ad. No way, this one is e-a-s-y. We'd good as finished it within a few hours.
You play the role of Spike, a Viking of some import, and you've got to rescue your mates who've been locked up in some castle. No problem. So what makes Spike so easy?
Well for a start, you're allowed to carry up to six objects, so you can pick up anything you pass. (One of the main things that make Dizzy games so hard is that you need to be carrying a specific two objects to solve each puzzle.) The puzzles themselves are, with one notable (switchable) exception, very easy. It's obvious what each object is for, and you'll usually have the right thing (note singular) on you when you encounter each puzzle.
It's all quite competently done, and frankly we prefer games you can complete with a little thought to those you can only finish with a Cheat Mode solution or £50 worth of 0898 calls. Dizzy-hardened adventurers, though, will be annoyed at the lack of a long-term challenge (and the Spectrum graphics, of course).
Much easier than most Codemasters games (but then, maybe that's a good thing).