Garfield: A Winter's Tail (The Edge) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

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Garfield: A Winter's Tail
By The Edge
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #1

Garfield: A Winter's Tail

The seasons come and go and with them appear all sorts of relevant software - car games timed with famous races, Bond games timed with the release of new films, classic shoot-'em-ups aimed at the Christmas junkie and, of course, games about winter timed with the first fall of snow. Well, that at least, was the intention with the latest Garfield game. Delays changed that a little.

This latest Garfield extravaganza sees you confronting five challenges which range from skiing in the Alps to eating ridiculous amounts of lasagna. Garfield has fallen asleep in front of the frosty gasps of breath from the fridge and the challenges are really dreams entertained by this furry orange bundle of food.

Out of the five different challenges you can select three from the main screen where Garfield sleeps. These consist of a jaunt down the Alps, a visit to the chocolate factory and a burst of skating across a frozen lake. All of these dreams require you to eat as much food as you can find otherwise Garfield will suffer hunger pangs and wake up, indicating the end of a game.

You can choose to complete each level in turn in which case you approach the following levels with increased energy and hence last longer. This method also gives you access to the other two levels - the lasagna factory and the grand finale, the Swiss village.

The wild and wacky objectives for each level range from eating the chocolate footsteps left by a horde of charging chickens to gulping down as much lasangna as possible.

Effects

A Winter's Tail is graphically very similar to the original Garfield game from last year. A large, animated Garfield and Odie parade across simply decorated landscapes. Some of these are so simple that there's nothing else on the screen - particularly in the skiing level. With such gigantic sprites being manipulated, the game unfortunately suffers from a lack of speed which does little to heighten the addictive factor.

Sound effects are limited to the Garfield tune which plays throughout the game and can only be extinguished by dropping your machine from a great height or locating the volume control.

Conclusion

With A Winter's Tail split into five separate challenges, you can approach a more diverse range of tasks than were possible in its predecessor. However, these are not fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. A lack of speed is one of the most serious limitations. The skiing level in particular suffers from being too slow but it's perhaps more noticable here because it's the kind of challenge which has surfaced in many an arcade action game.

The opportunity to kick Odie and the eccentricities of the challenges combine to reinforce some of the classic comic elements of Garfield. If you're a fan of the series then the game will hold just as much appeal.

Mark Higham

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