Commodore User1st June 1987
Published in Commodore User #46
Thing Bounces Back
It's two years now, since Thing first hit the screens of the C64 this spring to become the surprise hit of 1985. He's bounced back and this time he's definitely hoping to bounce as high as Number 1.
Remember the evil goblin our hero dealt with in part one? No, well don't worry, neither did I. Anyway apparently he's built an immensely powerful computer than your Amiga!) and the 'orrid sadist has infiltrated a toy factory, and used this mighty machine to possess all the lovely cuddly toys, turning them into psychos! Of course there is no way our hero is going to let this go by unnoticed. So off he bounces and in a couple of 'boings!' he arrived punctually in the world of the psychotic Cindy-doll... Thing must collect part of computer program found scattered around the factory, this I can only assume turns the computer 'nice' again... how sweet!
Before Thingy actually enters any of the factory's eleven rooms, he must travel down the air vent system to decide which one he chooses to enter. It isn't very easy to decide as the only control you have of thingy is to reverse his direction by pressing fire. This, most of the time, meant that I always ended up in the same room. Still now it's time to spring!
Once you are inside one of the factory's rooms (each of which are about twelve screens in size) you will probably say to yourself, "Oh cr*pes, I've just forked out ten sobs for a platform game" as I would. But don't fret, there is a hell of a lot more depth than the likes of Manic Miner etc.
The room consist of a mass of pipes, slides, but (surprisingly) without all the slimy aliens! No, in this game it's strictly demented toys! This should have been a perfect opportunity for some fun-making but Gremlin missed the chance. Just imagine - they could have had Barbie and Crystal Ken looking similar to Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, or even the Care Bears brandishing kitchen knives and sawn-offs. No, Gremlin decided not to take advantage and do boring "likeable" little sprites... Yeuch!
To kill the sprites you can either leap high in the sky and land on their cuddly little bonces, or you can do it the easier but far less satisfying way, and use the bullets which can be acquired.
The bullets and many other little thungumybobs are to found under surprise boxes, which when bumped into will release their treasure or booby prize, such as the ten ton weight that all too often drops on your skull, causing you to lose one of your precious lives.
Thing 1 was a fantastic little game two years ago, but number 2 is so similar I am in two minds as to whether it can succeed. But the best way I find to look at it is that, Monty has been on top after all this time, why the hell can't Thingy do the same.