Car-Vup (Core) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

ST Format


Car-Vup
By Core
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #18

Car-Vup

Borgus the Grim has gone and transformed cartoon land into a bad place. It seems he didn't much like the idea of peace, tranquility and merry melodies. He especially didn't go a bundle on Carl, a jolly little car with more than a passing resemblance to that classic movie star Beetle, Herbie. In an attempt to make cartoon land a more normal place to live, he's gone and trapped all your best mates and turned all the healthy good areas bad. Your job is to rescue your friends and turn cartoon land back to sickly sweetness and light (surprise, surprise).

Each of the eight levels is arranged as a series of platforms, and in a bid to restore good to the land you must direct Carl over every platform in sight. As you move over the platforms they change colour to indicate that you've been that way before. Only when all the platforms have changed colour can you advance onto the next level.

Unfortunately, Carl has this nervous afflication which means he can't simply fall off the end of a platform. Instead, you need to jump either across to the next platform or down to the ground. This makes it tricky gaining access to some of the platforms just out of reach.

Effects

Throw a smart bomb and Carl grins like he's burning acid not petrol. Turn wildly and his expression changes so he looks like he's had a potato rammed up his exhaust pipe. Reach the end of a level and he looks like someone's tickling his big end. Bright colours and a range of animated sprites combine to make the game enormous fun to watch. In addition, comic animated sequences introduce each level.

Complementing the visuals are simple spot effects and sound chip music. The spot effects comprise a droning car rattle and the occasional sound of a helicopter which carries your car from one level to another.

Verdict

Yes, it's a cutesy platform game. Yes, they've been done to death recently. And yes, there's really nothing about Car-Vup which makes it any better than something like Rainbow Islands. But if you're a cutesy game convert, you're going to fall for this one in a pretty big way. The game style may be hackneyed but Car-Vup is still eminently playable and outstandingly absorbing.

Mark Higham

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