This could go eider way

Dynamite Dux logo

Iwalked into the Blarney and Shamrock pub and ordered a drink. And as I was stood there I noticed a pig in a very small cage behind the bar, trying to get out. So I says to the Irish barman, "What's the pig for?". And he says, "Ah, well, you see, the last customer complained we had no pork scratchings". Who was I to argue? Strangely enough, when I got home I found they had sent me a game with pigs in it to review. It is a small world, I thought as I started downing the bottle of brandy required for reviewing mindless arcade conversions. Ah, I am a duck. Quack quack, as they say in duckland. And here are my friends. Pin the duck and Lucy - a piece of curvy fluff if ever there was.

Oh no, here comes Achacha the Great, who, besides sounding like a Latin American dance, has whisked (not stirred) away Lucy to do all sorts o horrible things. I musht wescue her, mefinks drunkenly, so off I set.

There are six levels with two bonus levels of Dynamite Dux, a Sega coin-op converted by Activision. This is not many when you get credits to continue games with, and even I in my uncoordinated condition managed to stagger through to level four on only the third attempt.

It is a sideways scrolling saga, right to left, though there are sections where it pays to go up and down ramps, which introduces diagonal scrolling. Very smooth it is too, but unfortunately, it is also very slow. So slow it has a detrimental effect on the gameplay.

Bin the duck, for that is thee, sets forth on a very strange journey though a rather hazard filled town. Chomping mouths dance along the pavement like Chinese firecrackers, while Zebedee-like creatures on springs hop around like demented one-legged grasshoppers.

A marker shows how far through the level you have managed to get. Expect something nasty at the halfway point as well as at the end.

Bin is armed initially with only his fist, but alas this is one boxer who does not dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. He dances like a bricklayer.

There are three types of punch - regular pow, hold the fire button down and twirl the arm for big buy POW and hold that fire button down until the sun goes supernova for mega POWWWW!!!

As you stop moving when the arm starts twirling, Bin has probably bin biffed by this time. Hohum, search out the extra weapons. The most crude extra weapon is the armament of your average rioter, a supply of rocks. For the nasties further on you are more likely to need the exploding bombs with faces, which have a wonderful explosion. The flamethrower or the rocket launcher.

The homing missile rocket launcher is almost as good as it gets. The big problem is that every time a sprite runs into you - which is quite hard to judge as there is no depth to any of them, yet there is depth to the playing area - you drop any weapon being carried.

If something like the snake happens to be treading all over your feathers, as soon as you recover you are hit again without any chance to pick the weapon back up again. It can be very irritating.

The animation and the graphics of the characters, duck and the bad guys, are all very good, but the mediocre backgrounds detract slightly. The music is very jolly and arcadish, but can grate - at least there are different tunes. My favourite is the Bongo special on the jungle level, which is pretty good.

The problem with Dynamite Dux, which scores well in the graphics and sound department, is that it can be irritating in some places, and slow in others. That apart, it is a reasonably good conversion. Now, if you will excuse me, I am off in search of those pork scratchings to round off the brandy.

Dynamite Dux logo

ACTIVISION £24.99 * Joystick

Bin and Pin, the Dynamite Dux, are playing a sweet innocent kiddies' game with their friend Lucy when the evil Achacha The Great (the great what?) materialises from nowhere and kidnaps Lucy! Argh! Shock! Horror! The heroic, daring dux take off after them immediately.

There are six levels to fight through before they can get down to the serious business of rescuing their friend. Eighteen different types of creature oppose them, ranging from the Sumo Pig to the Boxing Crocodile! Bin and Pin start the game unarmed (having to rely on their own boxing skills for self defence) but dotted along the way are loads of weapons, ranging from simple stones and bombs all the way up to flame-throwers and missile launchers (have you ever seen a blue duck carrying a bazooka?). Naturally, these weapons vary in usefulness: the bombs are great for long-range firing, but they are pretty useless on anything nearby, and the flame-throwers are brilliant to fry enemies at close quarters, but rubbish for anything else.

A great two-player mode is included: you can beat each other up if the action dies down temporarily! Bonus levels have been included to boost the content that bit more and, naturally, every level has a huge fat mega-nasty just make sure things do not get too easy.


Playing Dynamite Dux is rather like watching a cartoon; the graphics are bold and bright, and the tune that plays throughout is the sort of bouncy jolly stuff that generally accompanies cartoons. Visually and sonically, it is a very enjoyable game. Colour is used liberally without being garish, and although there is nothing special about the animation, everything has an air of clever design. The range of enemy characters is varied, and some of them are quite amusing: I am afraid, though, that 'cute 'n' cuddly' is very much the order of the day!


Disappointingly, despite the light-hearted nature of the game's presentation, it lacks an essential element of addictiveness. Though quite playable, it is a bit easy to get through the first couple of levels, and as a result, they become quite tedious when you play through them again and again. Lastability rating, therefore is fairly low. This lack of challenge on the early levels reinforces the general feeling that this game is not really aimed at the dedicated arcadian or shoot-em-up freak, but rather at the younger, less experienced player. It is an accurate conversion; unfortunately, though, the original was not all that hot.

Dynamite Dux logo

Arme Lucy! Vom schrecklichen Achacha entführt, steht sie nun Todesängste aus Doch Bin und Pin, ihre gefiederten Freunde, sind schon unterwegs, um dem bösen Feind den Garaus zu machen.

Dazu stehen ihnen in Activisions neuem Comic-Spiel neben diversen Extrawaffen wie Wasserwerfern, Raketen und Bazookas, vor allem ihre unvergleichbaren Boxkünste zur Verfügung: Hält man den Feuerknopf fest gedrückt, hagelt es richtige "Superschwinger" (KERPOW!), die selbst Mike Tyson flachlegen würden!

Dieses Waffenarsenal ist auch bitter nötig, denn die zahlreichen Gegner (Elche, Hunde, Ratten und Känguruhs!) kennen kein Erbarmen mit kleinen Enten, und genau darum handelt es sich bei Bin und Pin. Also (endlich) mal ein flottes Action-Game ohne die üblichen blutgierigen Söldner oder schleimigen Monster.

Technisch gibt es an Dynamite Düx wenig auszusetzen: Das Scrolling ruckelt zwar ein bißchen, aber dafür entschädigen eine witzige Grafik, abwechslungsreicher Sound und verschiedene Extras, die das Spielerleben angenehm machen. So kann z.B. zwischen Joystick und Tastatur gewählt werden, wobei eher zu erstem zu raten ist (vereinfacht besonders das Springen!).

Das ganze läßt sich auch zur zweit spielen, was den Spaß noch verdoppelt - insgesamt also ein gut durchdachtes Spiel, das deutlich aus dem allgemeinen Hau-drauf-und-gibt-ihm-Saures-Rahmen fällt. (mm)

Dynamite Dux logo

Activision Price: £24.99

This former arcade rarity could have you fooled. These ducks may be cute but dafty they most definitely are not. The ducks in question here are imaginatively named Bin and Pin, a pair who seemingly owe more in terms of genetic make up to Woody Woodpecker than to dear old uncle Donald, each sporting a quiff as fine as that of any 50's Teddyboy.

Making up the two halves of this most elite flying squad, these are ducks with a mission, to find the kidnapped Lucy and to lick the enemy all in the course of a half dozen levels of action. Enemy, what enemy I here you ask. Enough to make anyone quack, Bin and Pin find themselves faced with such awe inspiring foe as bouncing sausage dogs, gangs of field mice, pogoing alligators, moles in hard hats, jet propelled cows making the most of all that methane, and pigs on trolleys. Yes, that's right, pigs on trolleys and they're heading straight for you!

It's enough to bring a duck down but, unless you're unlucky, certainly not out because this feathered friend packs a decidedly unfriendly punch and as soon as the enemy gets within striking distance it's THWACK right on the jaw before they can lay a paw on the energy bars without which the Dynamite Dux are as dead as dodos. It's a shame that the game only has one combat move but the assortment of weapons available to collect goes a long way towards making up for this. Forget the shotgun, these guys have a flame thrower tucked under their wings!

In so far as coin-op accuracy goes, Dux is spot on. The graphics are nothing short of identical, with brightly coloured sprites and backdrops giving the game a real coin-op feel. Even the way different weapons behave is done as cutely as possible. Now, how on earth can you make a lethal flamethrower seem cute you might ask? With great difficulty, but Activision have still managed to do it, and do it well.

The sound is perfect too. Arcade voices complement the arcade soundtrack and the spot FX are exactly duplicates. So what went wrong? The gameplay.

Dynamite Dux is just a very badly designed game. You move far too slowly for an action game, and the fact that you can only make one fighting move is extraordinarily limiting. Also, it's impossible to accurately pinpoint where the aliens actually are, due to the lack of any shadow.

Even the end of level guardians aren't much good, simply because you are too slow to avoid them, and most of them expand to fill the entire screen. Unfairly difficult.

There you have it. It's a game which sports great graphics and sound and it's an accurate conversion. It's simply that the original arcade game wasn't too hot to start with.

Dynamite Dux logo

Heard the one about a duck called Bin, a 'chick' called Lucy and Achacha - a dirty old wizard? Well, nor had Duncan MacDonald until he went quackers taking out Activision's newie Dynamite Dux for a waddle...

Dynamite Dux is a very large, eight way scrolling, highly colourful cartoony romp with the emphasis on 'cuteness'. You might wonder why this is? Because it is a conversion of a Sega coin-op - that is why. And we all know how twee Sega can get if left unchecked.

Anyway, the basic scenario is this: you are a duck. And you have got to rescue a 'chick' who has been kidnapped by a wizard. The wizard is called Achacha (which, as we have just discovered, is almost as easy to type as 'banana'). The 'chick' is called Lucy. Oh, and the duck is called Bin. (There is actually another duck as well, called Pin, but you only see him if you are playing in simultaneous two player mode).

Bin (and indeed Pin if he is there. Um, let us pretend he is) stroll across a right to left and up and down scrolling landscape, trying not to suffer the same fate as the famous Norwegian Blue duck from the Monty Python series (It was a parrot actually. Ed). To deal with the numerous highly coloured 'jolly' cartoon foes that saunter across the screen, Bin and Pin have an ace up their sleeves. The ace, in tis case, is called a fist. A quick press on the fire button delivers a puny little swipe that knocks over only the weediest of nasties, while for real K.O. power you need the mega punch, which you get by keeping the fire button depressed.

As well as fists, there are numerous weapons lying around just for the taking (bombs, homing missiles, rocks, flame throwers etc.), but they all have a limited lifespan and you can only carry one item at a time.

As in the standard mould of these things, there are loads of 'specialist' nasties (i.e. big ones that take a lot of killing) scattered through (and at the ends of) the levels. So basically, what you have to do is keep on walking right, jumping when you need to jump, avoiding the myriad foes, collecting the tastier weapons and then shooting things if you cannot get round them. So what does it play like?

ST review

Matt: Sega's coin op Dynamite Dux would seem to have a lot going for it. It is a bright (sickeningly) cute, slightly bizarre cartoon beat em up. And I really like cute, slightly bizarre coin-ops. Ergo, I will like Amiga Dynamite Dux, won't I? Um, well no actually. Not really. Let me explain.

Why do cute coin-ops work? It is because they are so playable, isn't it? And as far as I am concerned the word 'playable' is directly interchangeable with the words 'platforms-and-ladders, jumping up-and-down, nipping-through-secret-doorways, leaping-ravines-and-generally-bouncing-about-all-over-the-place'. And that is all you really get to do in Dynamite Dux.

Still, let us look on the positive side. The graphics are universally bright and glossy and clear, and some of the animal designs are a real treat. Moose heads bound towards you just aching to be punched, pigs trundle along on trolleys and boxing kangaroos sproing around like manic Zebedees. Bin and Pin are neat little sprites too, apart from the fact that a) they look like Woody Woodpecker (especially the orange one), b) they walk forward slightly faster than their feet move (I am always whinging about this in computer games) and c) when they do the twisty-spinny Popeye-arm megapunch they have to stand still to land it, which slows things down a bit.

What Activision has got here then - and it is more a fault of the original coin-op than its quite professional conversion - is a graphically cute and varied cartoon beat em up with a lot of instant appeal, but not much lasting gameplay. I mean, a beat em up with only two combat moves! (The thrilling stand right in front of the baddy and punch him, and the equally exciting stand a few feet a way and throw something at him). It is just not cricket! (It keeps you enthralled for about as long, though).

The other thing it has managed to come up with is a game that is almost identical on the ST and the Amiga - there is only really the music to tell them apart. And luckily the Amy soundtrack is nothing short of awesome. Oops, did I say awesome? I meant annoying. It is loud, jolly and very, very obnoxious indeed. Ten out of ten for that, then.

Amiga review

Dunc: As I was loading Dynamite Dux I thought "it is funny, isn't it, how the Japanese, especially those at Sega (who did the original coin-op of this), can make every computer game sprite look like Marine Boy, what with his stupid big eyes and everything". Then the main game screen popped into view, and guess what? The duck I was controlling looked NOTHING AT ALL like Marine Boy. How wrong I had been. Sorry, Japanese people - my mistake. The graphics in Dynamite Dux are cartoony in a sort of 'Garfield' fashion (sort of, I said): a cursory glance at the screens should serve you here - 'a picture paints a thousand words' etc.

What a picture does not paint however, is how the animation feels - how things move. Um, and I have got quite a good word for this, actually. Here it is... "slowly". Things chug along at a picoscopic rate of knots. I found myself wrenching the joystick really hard to the side to try and wring a bit of extra speed out of 'Bin' (the name of the duck you control), but, alas, it did not work.

The road winds about all over the shop with sections where there is more than one possible way to go. Each route has its own pros and cons regarding the number and power of adversaries you will meet of which there are squillions all told, and every one of them that went before.

Now - what I actually think about Dynamite Dux (About time. Ed). It is an excellent coin-op conversion. Core ) the programming house responsible) has done a great job. The only trouble is that the arcade machine itself was a bit boring, so a conversion could only (at its best) be a bit boring too. I have got nothing against 'cutesy' games, just as long as there is some pace involved. Unfortunately, pace is something that Dynamite Dux does not have. Like quite a few other Sega games, things in Dynamite Dux sort of limp along - and the collision detection is a bit squiffy as well.

If you adore games that bob along in a slightly geriatric way, mildly surreal but lovable animal sprites and you do not mind being killed by something that looked as it did not touch you, then you will be happy with this offering from Activision - it will keep you occupied for ages. It is certainly pretty enough and hard enough. However, if it is a sweaty joystick handle you are after then it might be wise to give this one a miss.

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Activision, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.95

The would-be-damsel-in-distress of this game, a girl by the name of Lucy, was captured in a Miracle Ball by the horrible Japanese dance instructor Achacha and promptly spirited away to an undoubtly distant land. Not a good situation for Lucy, but help is at hand in the duck like shape of her two pets Bin and Pin: the Dynamite Dux -feathered friends with a mean punch.

The rescue attempt sees da dealy Dynamite Dux duo destroying da dastardly devotees of Achacha in a number of Japanese locations. The streets of some urban jungle is where things begin as the Dux stroll towards a distant level guardian, bopping all who come their way with their unfeasibly large fists (in an R-type style just hold down the fire button and release for a bigger punch).

The enemy are obvious masters of psychological warfare as most of them look far too cute to pose any threat; cats on roller skates, pigs trained in the art of Sumo, kangaroos with boxing gloves on, and crocodiles with a roar that's worse than their bite.

Punch power is handy for the most of the evil enemies but to help there are missile launchers, stones, bombs, and guns lying all over the place along with vital energy-restorant cakes, fruit and buns.

This is all very strange stuff indeed but it doesn't get any more sensible when you reach the halfway point and end of the level whereupon it's big-guardian time. Battle with a big bonfire, retaliate against Rockmen, deal with chinese dragons (in Japan?), sort out spinning boulders and more.

Phil King The best point in Dynamite Dux's favour is the fun two-player mode, and this is sadly missing on the 64 version. A variety of weapons add marginally to the interest, but mostly the action consists of ambling down a slowly scrolling road punching a few silly-looking enemies. Cartoony graphics help make the game more attractive initially. But I can't help feeling the game's too cute for it's own good -the creatures aren't threatening enough and attack with all the viciousness of a stuffed toy bunny.
Robin Hogg The action just doesn't hot up enough for my liking even with two duck participation, and the 64 game mysteriously lacks a two player mode. On the graphic front the Amiga version is certainly well done: there's a notable difference in detail and use of colour compared with the graphically unsophisticated 64 version. The sprites are nicely varied and, with the original setting, help mask what is otherwise fairly standard bash'em action.