Monday 23 November 2020

The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy (Evercade Review)

The story goes that once upon a time the evil wizard Zaks kidnapped Dizzy’s girlfriend Daisy, and took her to his castle in the clouds. Dizzy must now find the castle and rescue her solving puzzles along the way and engaging in some all-round platform action. For the uninitiated, Dizzy is an egg who had a great deal of success on the 8-bit computers before facing his biggest adventure in this game on consoles. They simply don’t make games like Dizzy anymore, the action is basic, but brilliant, and to finish an entire adventure is a challenge.

The idea of the game is to solve puzzles by picking up items and taking them to a place where they can be used, thus allowing you to continue on. This may sound easy but Dizzy can only carry three items at once - meaning if you miss judge what you need to take, then progression will be extremely difficult. On top of this all manner of hazards and traps will need to avoided along the way.

Graphically, Dizzy is presented in a cartoon style, big and colourful with simple, charmingly drawn characters set against decent enough backgrounds. Everything is very clear on screen with slowdown and flickering rarely occurring, even when the screen is packed. The landscapes in the game vary from woods and towns to underground caves and sunken pirate ships - each represented in its own way and looking different from the last.

Gameplay, is both very simple and very difficult. Initially the game seems daunting, as puzzles can be obscure and it's easy to get lost if you're not careful. However, after a couple of tries you soon realise the necessary approach needed to solve puzzles and progress. Dizzy can be a difficult to control, but (like the puzzles), once you work out how far he can jump and what distance he can fall from, everything comes together. Producing a well-executed title that offers large doses of quirky platform fun.

As well as the basic platforming action there are several mini-games present such as going down a river in a barrel throwing apples at enemies. However, the most enjoyable section is where Dizzy is shooting people with a crossbow taken from a first person perspective and reminiscent of the arcade Shinobi bonus level.

Overall, Dizzy is a magical title, and while you cannot argue that it feels a little dated, it is a fine example of how great games used to be. Functional graphics, challenging puzzles and enjoyable mini-games mean that this a great slice of retro action and a strong addition to the Evercade line-up.

Overall 9/10

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