Brian the Lion logo

Roaring good platform fun from Psygnosis. I'd be lyin' if I said it was rubbish! Geddit! Lion? Lyin'? You see they sound the same, but they're spelled different, oh just forget it.

Right, hands up who knows someone who owns a Super Nintendo or a Sega Mega Drive and is always bragging about how "good" the games are. I guess it's just about every Amiga owner out there. I bet you've always wanted to give them a good smack in the face and show them that your Amiga can keep up with the so-called super "consoles". Well, now you can!

I don't mean you can actually hit them because you'd go to court and get done on a ABH charge and you'd probably sue me for telling you to do it and I'd fall out with you and counter sue and - well it'd all get out of hand.

No, instead of using your fist use Brian the Lion as your hay-maker. Published by Psygnosis and developed by Reflections (previous credits include all three Shadow of the Beast games), Brian the Lion is a platform that shouts an "anything you can do" warning to all those pesky Sega and Nintendo owners.

Brian is a new kind of hero who wears a wild pair of beach shorts and has an awesome quiff that even Elvis would be proud of, if he hadn't of died on the toilet that is. Brian may look cute, but underneath that character lies a pair of sharp claws and a fearsome roar.

Subtitled Rumble in the Jungle, and a year-and-a-half in the making, Reflections's platformer is a tale of friendship. One day while Brian was chatting with his best buddy Chris the Crystal, they were suddenly interrupted by a big, ugly monster called Geeza.

Geeza, who likes listening to dodgy guitar-based rock bands, has kidnapped Chris and is going to use his prismatic powers to hypnotise all the jungle creatures and crown himself king of the beasts. So Brian is sent forth on a quest. Our "mane" man must take on wave after wave of Geeza's followers and cross the island in order to save his pal and reclaim his title of King of the Beasts.

On the surface Brian the Lion looks for all the world like a bog-standard platformer, but I personally don't think it is thanks to the gob-smackingly good graphics.

It features multi-layered parallax scrolling, 182 colours on screen at once and 50 original tunes, and is the first game to introduce the famous Super Nintendo Mode 7-style effects onto the Amiga. These effects are used to zoom, fade, and rotate the graphics and can even map on image or textures onto a cylinder.

Brian the Lion is not all platform action though because halfway through, the game mutates into a left to right scrolling shoot-'em-up that is very reminiscent of an old Gremlin game called Pegasus. This break in the constant platform fun is most welcome and stops the gameplayer from getting bored.

Reflections's platformer contains some really nice touches, especially Brian's roar. This can be used to kill smaller creatures and startle middle-sized creatures. Try it against one of the end-of-level bosses, though, and you'll get your comeuppance...

On first glance, Brian the Lion looks and plays like every other bog-standard platformer, but if you probe deeper you'll find a wonderful and highly stylish piece of software. Reflections have done a impressive job in creating a console production for the Amiga which proudly boasts just what Commodore;s machine can achieve.

The graphics and sound are jaw-droppingly good, the addiction level is just about right. Playability-wise you can't go wrong and Brian the Lion has so many nice touches that you couldn't possibly list them all one page.

OK, so it's maybe not that much different from an average platformer, but it's roaring good fun and it's my favourite platformer of the moment.

Brian the Lion logo

Lions are big fat scary things that roam around the African plains preying on those cute little bouncy deer with bobbly white tails. They are vicious evil animals that only care for their own survival and don't spare a thought for anything else.

They are not cuddly, fluffy animals that risk their own lives for the sake of inanimate objects that have been captured by paranoid ugly dragons named Geezer. So, how anyone came up with the idea for a cutie platformer with a lion named Brian for a hero I will never know.

Brian the Lion is a game set over 40 or so levels, which comes complete with the usual promises that this one is going to be bigger than Sonic, Mario or Zool.

The game designers have done their best to come up with an amusing tale to spice up the dull act a little, but since when did characters with names like Barry the Bear and Chris the Crystal cause a riot down your local?

The gameplay is the usual, run and bounce from one end of the level to the other and bop a few baddies on your way. Brian can get hold of extra weapons in the cloud shop, such as a particularly scary roar to crumble his opponents to death and a super high bounce, but this doesn't add to the excitement. Before you can even use the special weapons you need to collect loads of little blue gems and then find the cloud shop. Yawn.

One, two three...
The in-game graphics are so cute they could make Genghis Khan go Ahhhh. Not only is the animation on the sprites incredibly smooth, but the colourful backgrounds scroll with the grace of Audrey Hepburn.

However, the intro and inbetweeny scenes are a different matter. Apparently, I was supposed to be amazed by the stunning SNES Mode 7-style graphical effects at the beginning of the game, when the map view zooms in to show you exactly where Brian is on the island. Well, the jerky juddering of the blurred forests and jungles didn't do much to impress me.

The map, even when it's sitting still, is a little confusing. You're never quite sure if there's more to explore in an area or not. You can return to any place on the map if you want to explore it further, but there are no landmarks to help you recognise any of the locations.

Dot on the landscape
Each level is represented by a small dot on the map. If the dot is orange, the route through is straightforward left to right. But if the dot is blue there is a warp in the shape of an aptly named tornado to whizz you off to a secret level. Ordinary levels have secret bits too - they're often marked by the odd signpost or three.

The game is huge, there's no denying it, there are loads of places to explore, lots of baddies to swipe at, and there are a few different styles of gameplay to try out. There's a flying section when you hop on the back of a skylark and an underwatery bit where Brian dons his snorkel and feds off the terrors of the deep to collect those precious gems.

But they all have the same platformy feel to them, there's really no difference in the way you play the special sections to the ordinary platform bits, except for subtle changes in control, perhaps.

Everything in the game adds up to a feeling of sameness. When you're exploring new areas it always feels like you're retreading the same ground. If the programmers were trying to find a substitute for Sonic on the Amiga then they've failed. But if they were just counting Brian just as an exercise in designing sprites then they're passed with flying colours.

Der Löwe ist los!

Brian the Lion logo

Bei der Aufzucht dieses Plattform-Löwen hatten die "biestigen" Action-Profis von Psygnosis stets ein Ziel vor Augen: Der gesamte Konsolen-Zoo sollte vor ihrem Jump & Run erzittern! Ob der pelzige Held dafür wirklich stark genug ist?

Nehmen wir das Fazit ausnahmsweise mal gleich vorweg: Die leckeren Trauben einer neuen Genre-Referenz hingen letztlich dann doch etwas zu hoch, als daß selbst ein renommiertes Programmierteam wie die Amiga-Spezialisten von Reflections ("Shadow of the Beast") sie hätten pflücken können.

Vielleicht hat man mit anderthalb Jahren auch zuviel Entwicklungszeit investiert, denn trotz zahlreicher Technikgags kennt man die Ideen des Gameplays mittlerweile alle schon von der Konkurrenz - die rotierenden Plattformen, zoomenden Übersichtskarten und beeindruckenden 3D-Tunnels wurden zudem nicht wirklich überzeugend ins Spiel integriert, wodurch sie ein wenig aufgesetzt wirken.

Aber selbst wenn das originellere Eichhörnchen "Mr Nutz" den Plattform-Thron somit immer noch besetzt hält, ist doch auch Brian alles andere als eine zahnlose Stubenkatze...

Für einen ausgewachsenen Leu hält allerdings nur die Anleitung den Helden, am Screen präsentiert er sich dagegen ausgesprochen knuddelig und mit entzückend animierter Mimik )allein dieser treuherzige Augenaufschlag!).

Brian startet seine nicht näher begründete Wanderschaft auf einer scrollenden und begehbaren Weltkarte; hier lassen sich die einzelnen Levels nach und nach anwählen, wobei man auch ein Stück zurücklaufen und bereits absolvierte Terrains erneut nach verstecktem Bonusgut oder Levelwarps abgrasen kann - durch unterschiedliche Farbmarkierung der schon besuchten Orte (rot oder blau) gibt das Programm Tips, inwieweit sich die Umkehr lohnt.

Diese Szenarien bestehen aus verlassenen Tempelstädten, dem Dschungel oder Gruselwäldern; man geht bisweilen auch auf Tauchstation oder in eine tolle Ballersequenz. Gerade dieser Ritt durch die Lüfte stellt manch eigenständige Actionorgie locker in den Schatten!

Doch sind die vielen Schauplätze allein noch kein Garant für Abwechslung, denn bis auf die Farbwahl ähneln sich die diversen Landschaften relativ stark. Zudem legen die darin umherfleuchtenden Feindvögel, Buschmänner oder Endgegner oft dieselben stereotypen Bewegungsmuster an den Tag und schrecken auch vor unfairen Attacken nicht zurück.

Das ist um so tragischer, als Brian es nahezu unbewaffnet mit seinen Widersachern aufnehmen muß. Seine Kopfsprünge und insbesondere die Tatzen-hiebe können jedoch allzu leicht zu Einbußen im an sich stattlichen Hitpoint-Vorrat führen, da sich beim Nahkampf der schwächende Körperkontakt nicht immer vermeiden läßt.

Gut, daß man bei Lebensverlust bloß ein St:uck weit im Level zurückversetzt wird - besser noch, daß sich unser Savannenkater in den versteckten Shops oder durch das Aufsammeln von Bonusgut wenigstens mit mehr Sprung- und Laufkraft sowie einem markerschütternden Brunftbrüller ausstatten kann, der zumindest kleinere Feind-Kaliber in die Flucht schlägt.

Doch muß hierzu der Feuerknopf einige Sekunden gedrückt bleiben, weshalb diese Option bei dem meist hohen Spieltempo kaum vernünftig einsetzbar ist. Nö, am besten wären halt doch ein paar Waffen gewesen.

Apropos Tempo: Die Programmierer haben eine Art Zeitbonus eingebaut; wer vor Ablauf der Stoppuhr der Levelziel erreicht, hat auf einem Extrascreen drei Bonusabschnitte zur Auswahl. Zwar ist in keinem davon spielerisch die Hölle los, doch bekommt man hier die erwähnten Kabinettstückchen technischer Art zu Gesicht.

So rollt die Hintergrund-Grafik mal quasi in 3D vorbei, dann drehen sich bildschirmhohe Felsenaufbauten unter dem Spieler weg - vergleichbare Effekte sieht man selbst am Super Nintendo mit seinem speziell dafür konstruierten Customchip nicht alle Tage!

Ansonsten warten die insgesamt rund 40 Spielabschnitte allesamt mit hübsch animierten Sprites, viel Farbe und super-flottem Scrolling auf; echte Parallax-Optik bleibt allerdings der angekündigten Spezialversion für den 1200er vorbehalten. In Sachen Sound sich aber schon jetzt gefällige Begleitmusik und ordentliche FX zu hören.

Positiv wären noch die verkürzten Ladepausen mit Extraspeicher, die Routine zur bequemen HD-Installation sowie die unendlichen Continues hervorzuheben, warum allerdings die Steuerung keine zwei Buttons unterstützt, bleibt das Geheimnis der Löwenbändiger von Reflections bzw. Psygnosis.

Schade auch, daß nicht an einen etwas komplexeren Levelaufbau, hier und da mal eine hübsche Rätseleinlage und natürlich innovativere Extras gedacht wurde - aus dem kleinen Brian hätte ein ganz großes Tier werden können! (rl)


Reflections zählt neben Factor 5 und Team 17 zu den wohl profiliertesten Programmierteams für Actionsoftware am Amiga. Kein Wunder, denn bislang haben zwar nur wenige Games diese Softschmiede verlassen, dafür aber ausnahmslos gute: "Awesome" etwa, "Ballistix" und natürlich die bekannte "Beast"-Trilogie, deren erster Teil noch heute als optischer Meilenstein gilt.

Ähnlich wie Brian the Lion haftet allen diesen Spielen (mit Ausnahme des in jeder Beziehung hervorragenden "Beast 3") aber der Makel eines nur durchschnittlichen Gameplays an, während die Technik meist neue Maßstäbe setzte.

Brian the Lion logo

What a fitting name for a lion. Lucky he wasn't born a speckled flycatcher, hmm?

Let's make a list, shall we? Let's, just for easy future reference, make a list of all the things that we really, really hate about cute platform games. Because we're always going on (well, Cam is, anyway) about 'Oh no, not another cute platform game', or 'isn't it great to see something that isn't a cute platform game?'and all that kind of stuff, but we've never really explained why. After all, some of our favourite games are cute platform games, so why should we hate most of them so? Here's why.

Leaps of faith, where you have to take pot luck and jump blindly off the screen, hoping that there isn't a spike pit or deadly lava pool beneath you, although there frequently is. Incredibly tricky sections where you have to painstakingly edge all the way to the end of a level, only to get killed just before the end and be sent all the way back to the bloody start.

Invisible dangers, where you can be standing happily on a harmless-looking platform and then suddenly, without any kind of warning whatsoever, a load of spikes spring up from nowhere and perforate you to death.

Bits where you can fall 'off' what looks like the ground and plunge down a seemingly bottomless pit and die. Hidden rooms which are hidden down exactly that kind of pit, and don't have even the most subtle signs to indicate their presence, so to discover them you have to go randomly jumping down deadly holes. Slippy bloody slidey bloody ice bloody worlds. Up all night thinking of that idea, eh lads?

Having to jump on bad guys' heads to kill them, but having some bad guys who just kill you if you jump on their heads, even if they don't have any obvious warnings like spikes o their hats or something. Dead bad guys who regenerate as soon as you move their starting position about three pixels off the screen.

Bad guys who fly at you from off-screen when you're in mid-jump, hit you when you can't avoid them, and bounce you straight down one of the aforementioned bottomless pits. Being able to stand on one bit of scenery, but not another, completely identical one for no readily apparent reason.

Rip your eyeballs out with your fingernails

Unbelievably annoying sections combinging about four of the above, where you have to climb to the top of something, making leaps of faith onto bits of scenery which you sometimes can and sometimes can't stand on, but keep getting knocked down by regenerating baddies and falling all the way down to the beginning again until you rip your eyeballs out with your fingernails in frustration (even when you're playing with a cheat ode giving you 50 times the normal hit points).

And while we're here, let's make another list. Let's make a list, this time of things we really, really hate in games generally, cute platformers or otherwise. Things like:

Not recognising a second disk drive (natch), especially in (say) three-disk games with three disk swaps before you even get to start the first level. Stupid copy protection which appears in the middle of the game, would you believe? (And not once, either).
Mazes. Oh God, I can't go on.

What we really hate most of all, though, is seeing some poor lovable character; trying for all he's worth, taking his one big shot at megastardom being put through all of these terrible ordeals at once. It happened to Oscar (poor, sweet, almost-invisible Oscar), and now it's happening to Brian The Lion.

It's a crying shame, it really is. Brian is such a cudly little cartoon lion, with his Bermuda shorts and his amusing '70s haircut and his chubby cheeks and his repertoire of funny looks and his comical power-ups (or 'abilitys', as the game calls them) and his cute array of little furry animal chums, but he doesn't have a chance up against gameplay this annoying.

It's desperately trying to be Super Mario World, with a similar world structure based on finding different exits from each stage (and even some pretty impressive SNES Mode 7-style effects, like the rotating circular backdrops and tilting platforms on some of the bonus levels), but Reflections have made exactly the same mistake that almost everybody makes when they try to copy the Super Mario games - they spot the cute graphics, they spot the hidden worlds, they spot the basic game structure, they spot the bouncy music, but what they all somehow manage to miss is the painstaking perfection of (hold on to your hats) the gameplay.

In Mario games you never get leaps of faith, you never have to deal with things you haven't been previously introduced in a gentle, learning kind of way, you never get killed by things that you didn't have a chance to see beforehand. It's fun, fun, fun and a hard-but-fair challenge all the way, whereas Brian The Lion is just irritating and aggravating and makes you bounce the joystick off the wall in a screaming fit when you've made a single mistake, fallen off a precarious platform to an uncertain death and been sent back to the beginning of a long and tedious level for the 14th time in a row. I speak from experience.

And in Mario games you don't battle your way heroically through two worlds, defeat the boss and look forward to what's coming next, only to find that you have, in fact, completed the game. There are 38 levels in Brian The Lion (compared to about 90 in Super Mario World), but I won't count that as a flaw - I think most people will give up in frustration well before they run out of game. It looks lovely. So bloody what?

Brian the Lion logo CU Amiga Screen Star


I have to say, I've been quite excited about this one for quite a while. It's about time someone sat up and proved that the Amiga is more than a match for the consoles of the world, and this is the title that beats them at their own game. Brian the Lion is a platform game like no other on the Amiga. It would honestly look more at home on a Super Nintendo, thanks to some revolutionary new graphic techniques.

Whether or not that's a good thing is down to your own personal preference, but the facts are here to see. Custom chips or not, the Amiga can do anything the SNES can do and, in a lot of cases here, do it far better.

Like all platform games, the aim is to get from one end to the other. I could pad out a bit here and give you the plot, but you've heard it all before. The key thing to note is that your only aim is to get to the end of each level. You can collect power-ups and jewels if you want to, but you don't actually have to.

Visually, the game is quite something. Although in a still screenshot, it looks like most other cute platformers. You notice the amount of effort that's gone in when you see the thing moving. Brian has over a hundred frames of animation to himself, including things like looking up with a daunted look on his face when he reaches a cliff he can't jump up, and a wonderful roar facility. Holding down the fire button makes him breathe in, and releasing it lets out a roar. The longer he breathes, the stronger the shout. The amusing thing is, if he lets out a really loud roar, he startles himself stands their quivering a moment!

Very playable and very colourful, Brian is probably the best-written platform game ever. With more tricks and stunts than most similar games, it's the kind of game you must have in your collection, even if it's to annoy your console owning friends.

Brian the Lion AGA logo AGA A1200 Speziell

Während der hüpfenden Konkurrenz vom Schlage eines "Zool 2" oder "Second Samurai" das Spezielle der speziellen 1200er-Version oft kaum anzusehen ist, hat Psygnosis das Fell des Plattform-Leuen neu gestriegelt!

Bereits das Titellogo zoomt und rotiert deutlich bunter über den Screen, im Spiel selbst bekommt man nun mehrstufiges und erstaunlich softes Parallax-Scrolling zu sehen. Spätere Abschnitte warten mit zusätzlichen Schneestürmen oder eindrucksvollen Gewittern auf, lediglich beim Sound wurde alles belassen wie es war - dafür gibt's jetzt komplett deutsche Screentexte.

Trotz allem ist das Gameplay des sprungstarken Löwen nach wie vor ein wenig zahm: Brian turnt über Palmenstrände und Lavaseen, durchtaucht Gewässer oder fliegt auf dem Rücken eines Raubvogels durch horizontal scrollende Ballerabschnitte.

Dabei leidet er ein bißchen an Beschäftigungsmangel, denn das Sammeln von Bonusdiamanten, der Kampf gegen knuddelige Schneemänner, Buschleute oder Endgegner und der Erwerb von Sprungstiefeln oder frischer Lebensenergie im Shop sind auf Dauer eben doch nicht ganz abendfüllend.

Zumal Extrawaffen fehlen: man springt seinen Feinden entweder auf den Kopf oder schlägt mit der Tatze zu, nachdem die Gegner mittels Brunftschrei (verlängerter Druck auf den Feuerknopf) paralysiert wurden.

Die rund 40 Levels könnten also abwechslungsreicher sein, auch wenn es Bonusabschnitte für besonders flotte Löwenbändiger gibt - hier und nur hier bekommt man übrigens die auf der Pakkungsrückseite angepriesenen Special-FX wie drehende Plattformen und 3D-Effekte zu sehen.

Insgesamt wurde ein gutes Game somit zwar verbessert, zum Aufstieg in die absolute Oberklasse reicht's freilich immer noch nicht. (rl)

Brian the Lion CD32 logo CD32

And here comes another anthropomorphic character. Yes, it's Brian The Lion (Psygnosis 051-709 5755, price to be announced), in his very own platform game. And for a ferocious feline carnivore, our Bri certainly looks cute as he trots through the 40 levels in the game.

As you successfully negotiate the ever-more-challenging levels, your path is plotted on a big map. As well as looking nice, this can appear daunting when you come to the realisation that not a great deal actually happens in Brian The Lion.

Sure, he can jump, run, walk and pick lots of things up, but for every section which grabs your attention, there are loads of samey-walk-along bits which are highly repetitious. This is the only problem with the game, because the programmers have seeded it with loads of secret rooms, the odd neat puzzle and a few very imaginative ideas (such as the undersea section).

The graphics are lovely and smooth and Brian feels controllable enough (for a lion, certainly). But there's not getting around it. Many of the levels have the same feel, nice though the look.

Brian the Lion CD32 logo CD32

Platform fans shouldn't get too steamed up about the release of Brian The Lion (Psygnosis 051 - 709 5755), on to CD32. Sure, the graphics have been prettified even more than the floppy original. Which is no mean feat considering how technically accomplished that game was. But the main failing of rampantly poor gameplay still hasn't been addressed.

Fatal attraction?
There are far too many fatal flaws, any of which can kill a half decent platformer stone dead at 40 paces. These include pits that open up without any warning, baddies who can only be killed by jumping on their heads, other baddies who kill Brian when he jumps on their head and blind leaps of faith into nothingness where half the time you're going to miss the intended target and Brian ends up dying.

It's a real pity, Brian is such a loveable little character that he deserves more than this.

Brian the Lion CD32 logo CD32

Das sprungstarke Psygnosis-Lätzchen mit den kleidsamen Bermuda-shorts streift schon eine ganze Weile durch den Amiga-Dschungel - und am CD32 ist sein Reich sogar noch ein Stück größer!

Immerhin drei zusätzliche Levels befinden sind nun zwischen dem König der Tiere und einem verschwunden Kumpel Chris, was natürlich auch allerlei neue Aufgaben mit sich bringt: eine zünftige Schatzhatz etwa, tierische Befreiungen und die Sache mit dem tief in einem Brunnen eingeklemmten Eimer.

Dazu taucht auf der Übersichtskarte nun bisweilen auch ein grauer Zylinder auf, der zu einem Hütchen- oder Kartenspiel führt. Das löwenstarke Jump & Run geht also tüchtig verstärkt in die CD-Runde, wo Brian munter durch rund 40 Abschnitte turnt, seine Gegner durch beherztes Draufspringen oder saftige Tatzenhiebe ausschaltet und dabei alle möglichen Extras sammelt.

Die drei Bonuswelten und der Wolkenshop, wo man seine Kristalle in Continues, Spezialkräfte oder Zusatzleben investiert, sind ebenfalls wieder mit von der Partie - genau wie die farbenfrohe Grafik der 1200er-Version samt dem flotten Parallax-Scrolling und tollen Zoom- und 3D-Effekten.

Per Joypad läßt sich der Leu jedoch viel leichter bändigen als mit dem Stick, und eine Save-Option für drei Spielstände vermag die hier fehlenden Levelcodes bestens zu ersetzen.

Neben den passablen Sound-FX gibt's feinste Musik von CD; fast eine Stunde fetziger Techno-Beat, cooler Reggae, karibische Steeldrum-Klänge und melodische Schmusesongs würden fast schon allein den Kauf rechtfertigen!

Zum König der Plattformen bringt es Brian aber auch auf CD nicht, dazu fehlt dem grundsoliden Gameplay einfach das entscheidende Plus an Originalität... (st)

Brian the Lion CD32 logo CD32

Psygnosis, £TBA

Amiga version: 42%, AP37.
Improvements over the original? Well, there's a rotating logo at the beginning of the game featuring, and here I quote, "transparency effects and brand new rotation effects". Oooo. There are 40 pieces of CD music, three of which I listened to before turning it down and playing in stony silence.

The game uses three of the joypad buttons for separate functions, and has rather natty parallaxing backgrounds, so points added for that. There are also extra levels and bonus sub-games, and new objects, puzzles and baddies.

The end result of this impressive overhaul? Well, it's now a dodgy platformer that looks better, but still has too many arbitrary deaths. There's also a jump that's so high, you can't see where you are aiming for. A great version of a very poor game.

Brian the Lion CD32 logo CD32


Technically, Brian The Lion is the single most accomplished platform game ever released on the Amiga. Reflections, the development team behind it and other games such as Shadow Of The Beast, had spent a long time looking at the Super Nintendo, and the various hardware tricks that it can do (Mode 7 3D scrolling, sprite scaling and rotation etc.) and then figuring out how they were done.

The interesting thing is that when they finally came up with ways of doing full screen zooms and rotations, they discovered that the Amiga actually did all of these things far better than the SNES! The obvious thing to do with all of these newly discovered routines was to build a platform game, which is exactly what they did!

Brian The Lion is essentially the same layout as any average platform title. You have a large empty map, which gradually unfolds as you work through the game. On each level the aim is more or less the same - you start at one side of the map and have to work your way to the other side.

Occasionally you will have a small task to perform, such as freeing a bucket from the bottom of a well, or rescuing a bunch of villagers from cages, and even more occasionally you'll have to go up against an end of level bad guy, who is usually huge and incredibly hard.

As I've said, technically Brian is superb on Amiga, and that side of things has been improved even more on the CD32. It goes without saying that it's a very playable platform game, but that isn't what will attract players and keep them busy. What will is Brian himself.

There is just so much character in the little guy that you end up running him into all sorts of predicaments just to see how he'll react. He really does seem to have an expression and an action for every move, although the best has to be the Raj Roar, where he takes a deep breath and lets out an enormous bellow, then shakes his head because he scares himself!

Although I've said that Brian The Lion is technically one of the best platform games on the CD32, it's still by no means the best. Actually controlling the main sprite can be a bit fiddly at times, which makes the bonus levels especially frustrating.

Otherwise though it's quite competent. James Pond 3 it ain't but if you love your platform games to have flair then Brian The Lion could be the one for you!