ST Format


Flip-It And Magnose
By Image Works
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #17

Flip-it And Magnose

Dive for cover and throw your arms over your head! The invasion of the cutesy games continues!

Flip-it And Magnose does, however, at least try to be different from the plethora of cutesies like Rainbow Islands, Manix, and all the rest by including two new ingredients - a split screen view offering simultaneous play, and a new puzzle element.

Your objective is to collect water and take it back home to Mars. Each level is a vertical strip of platforms, and the idea is to leap up and down the platforms finding water containers and discovering some way to prise water out of the creatures in the level.

Flip-It and Magnose: Water Carriers from Mars

The secret is to give each the right object. For example, level one is set in a jungle. You must track down the nutcrackers and give them to the ape. He then spits out a bug, which you, of course, need to pick up (of course! Why didn't you guess that was what you had to do?)

Drop all the way down to the bottom of the level and deposit the bug in front of the frog. The frog spits out a drop of water you can collect in a container and carry back to your spaceship.

In two-player mode your opponent plays on the opposite half of the screen to you but on the same level. You don't meet each other, giving you the chance to steal essential objects. In one-player mode the second player is controlled by your ST.

Flip-It and Magnose: Water Carriers from Mars

Meet him in this case and he boots you halfway across the screen. In between levels you can buy special traps you can set for your opponent - freezing him for a few seconds or even stealing his water. This might be cute but that's not to say it's all peace, love and understanding.

Effects

The heroes in the game are all expertly drawn. The sprites aren't very large but they're detailed and colourful.

You can select sound effects or music before play. Both use the ST sound chip to come up with some effective noises.

Verdict

The way you pick up extra objects is annoying. There are four stores, but you can access only one at a time. To change you hold the Fire button for three seconds and move the joystick left or right to select the store. During this time your character freezes. Thus to collect water you select the store, drop the item for the animal that wants it, then select the store with the water container and drop that. This is a waste of time - it would have been quicker if you could, say, just hit number keys to switch stores.

This problem aside, this is an absorbing game. There are only a few puzzles on each level, but they do keep you hopping. In two-player mode, the excitement increases ten-fold as you watch your best mate grab all those life-giving droplets of water.

Mark Higham

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