ST Format


Snoopy
By The Edge
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #6

Snoopy

There's no-one more obsessed with releasing cartoon licences than The Edge and this time they've turned their attention to the biggest comic strip hero of them all.

The Edge's best hit was with the original Garfield game released last Christmas. But they steered off of the arcade adventure path a few months ago when they released the follow-up - Garfield: A Winter's Tail, which was an all-action game. Now they're returning to their original formula for this latest release.

The objective is a simple one - track down Linus' blanket and carry it back to the poor fellow. The task is complicated by the fact that you must use various objects in specific circumstances if you're to get through the game successfully and return the emotionally retarded Linus back to a full sense of security.

Snoopy And Peanuts

The environment constructed consists of a street with several houses for you to explore. As you wander through these, you come across such items as footballs, a watch, scoreboard and even a cookie jar.

These must be used to overcome problems, but since you can only hold one at a time it's not just a matter of picking them all up and using them whenever you need to.

For example, to collect the football you need to pass under a rain cloud which you can't do without first finding the umbrella. When you've got this, you can walk under the cloud and pick the ball up but you can't carry it back through the rain without the umbrella - and you can't carry both at once. The answer is to kick the ball through the cloud then use the umbrella to walk to the other side. Now you can pick up the ball.

Snoopy And Peanuts

There are two blankets in the game but you only need to find one to win. The theory is that, since all the objects are in the same place each time, it doesn't matter if you locate one blanket because there will still be another one to discover.

Effects

The game is arranged as a series of static screens. As Snoopy moves out of the end of one screen, he pops up at the start of the next. As a result you can't always see what's happening just in front of you.

If you thought games were becoming more and more sophisticated in the graphics department this one proves that theory wrong. Snoopy is the only character you can depend on for movement. Charlie Brown, Lucy and the others rarely move while you're around, but if you step off somewhere else for a moment they'll suddenly dash forward several frames.

Snoopy And Peanuts

What's even worse is the speed of the movement, which does take place; the real Snoopy could have all four legs sawn off and still move faster.

Music or spot effects can be selected. The music is nothing exciting but at least it gives you something to listen to while Snoopy is limping from one side of the screen to the other.

Verdict

You've seen the screenshots by now and probably though it looks an addictive and cuddly licence - presumably what The Edge are banking on. It's hard to see anything else which might even remotely encourage people to splash out 20 quid on it.

Snoopy And Peanuts

By far the biggest problem is the ridiculously slow pace at which things move. Since a vast number of other games have handled considerably more animation without any hiccups, there's no excuse for such problems.

If you still insist on playing after seeing how slowly it runs then you'll only suffer further annoyance. For a start, the adventure isn't nearly large enough and because of the way the game is constructed you end up exploring the same scenes and the same territory over and over again.

Then there's the comic element - where is it? Schultz's cartoon hero was brilliantly funny but the only joke here is the lack of programming accomplishments.

Arcade adventures have moved on a lot and it takes more than just "find object X to solve problem Y" to make a good game nowadays.

It also takes more than just having a famous lovable cartoon character as a hero to make gameplay interesting. Snoopy would make a great slideshow but, as a game, it's a completely wet blanket.

Mark Higham

Other Atari ST Game Reviews By Mark Higham


  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game Front Cover
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game
  • Navy Moves Front Cover
    Navy Moves
  • Midwinter Front Cover
    Midwinter
  • Resolution 101 Front Cover
    Resolution 101
  • Voodoo Nightmare Front Cover
    Voodoo Nightmare
  • Team Yankee Front Cover
    Team Yankee
  • Imperium Front Cover
    Imperium
  • Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Front Cover
    Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
  • Pipe Mania Front Cover
    Pipe Mania
  • Gravity Front Cover
    Gravity