Monday 16 November 2020

The Oliver Twins Collection (Evercade Review)

It’s no secret that we love Dizzy here at Retro 101, so when a collection from the Oliver Twins was announced we got very excited indeed. The fact there are a selection of other games from the pairing here as well and that some of the Dizzy games are previously unreleased NES versions just helped to further our anticipation.

There are five classic Dizzy adventures on offer and they all more or less follow the same pattern of having to manoeuvre dizzy around platforms, avoid hazards and pick up objects. The objects then need to be taken to appropriate places to solve puzzles. The amount of lives you have and the amount of objects you can carry varies but at their core the five games follow the same template.

The good news is that each of the games is great fun to play. Treasure Island Dizzy is the crazily tough one, Wonderland Dizzy is the NES version of Magic Land with an Alice in Wonderland Influence. Dizzy the Adventurer is a good place for newcomers to start as a more forgiving version of Prince of the Yolk Folk and Mystery World Dizzy is the NES version of Fantasy Land Dizzy and is themed around fairy tales. The biggest and best of the games though is the Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy which takes influence from all the games in a sort of epic greatest hits adventure.

Dizzy also appears in two other titles on the collection. Panic Dizzy is unfortunately, a fairly poor puzzle (much like the home computer version), but Go Dizzy Go is an excellent maze type game. Very loosely influenced by Pacman and block pushing games it has Dizzy traversing a single screen maze avoiding enemies and picking up fruit. Once all the fruit is collected it’s on to the next level. It’s similar to Kwik Snax Dizzy on the home computers but this is by far the best version of it.

Four other Oliver Twins games also make the collection and show what they could do away from the iconic egg. Dreamworld Pogie is a spinoff featuring Dizzy’s pet mouse. This is a more traditional platform game with players traversing a linear level to reach an exit while collecting stars along the way. It’s colourful, fun and often crushingly difficult. Super Robin Hood is another platform game with players avoiding traps and taking out enemies with arrows. It’s not amazing but again, provides a solid and fun experience that will likely keep you interested long enough to finish it.

Fire Hawk and BMX Simulator round out the package. BMX Simulator is the only game here which is genuinely bad with a top down view used to display four bikes racing around a single screen track in the style of Super Off Road. It’s frustrating and not implemented in the best way and is destined to be played once before players quit out never to return.

Fire Hawk is pretty much what you would expect from an 8-bit version of Desert Strike. Here you fly a helicopter over enemy territory to complete a host missions such as rescuing POW’s or destroying buildings. It also has the added gimmick that when the helicopter goes into a descent to pick up a passenger the game switches to a first person view where you have to shoot down incoming enemies. It works well enough but is very difficult and playing it can be frustrating at times.

Overall, the Oliver Twins collection is the strongest reason to own an Evercade we have come across so far. It collates an often overlooked group of software from two industry legends and includes two games that may well have been lost to time otherwise. The main reason to own this is of course the high amount of Dizzy on show but the other games are mainly solid as well and it all adds up to a very nice cartridge that will likely stay in your Evercade for a long time. This is exactly the sort of thing we need for the console. Simply put – it’s Eggcellent.

Game Ratings

Treasure Island Dizzy                                         4/5

The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy                    5/5

Go! Dizzy Go!                                                    4/5

Dizzy The Adventurer                                        5/5

Panic Dizzy                                                        2/5

Wonderland Dizzy                                              4/5

Mystery World Dizzy                                         4/5

BMX Simulator                                                  2/5

FireHawk                                                            3/5

DreamWorld Pogie                                             4/5

 Super Robin Hood                                             3/5

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