Edd the Duck 1 logo

IMPULZE £24.99 Joystick

Take Rainbow Islands, swap Bub for Edd the Duck, the rainbows for snowballs and islands for studios and you get Edd the Duck. This cutesy platform romp is well drawn and animated. The gameplay is familiar: leap between clouds and other platforms and dodge twee monsters.

Yet there is little special to pull you into the game, no magic that will force just 'one more go'. Edd, ideally, should be aimed at the younger computer users who are familiar with the character, but the dexterity demanded means it could all end in tears.

Edd the Duck 1 logo

Impulze, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

Television will never be the same! At last, Edd the Duck has been given his own TV series. However, Wilson the Butler is a bit miffed at being left out. He reckons he had a hand in Edd's rise to fame, so he sets out to sabotage the show.

Edd's TV series is split into nine episodes, three for each of the three BBC Departments: Weather, Special FX and Children's TV. In each vertically scrolling episode Edd must jump between platforms, collecting stars and avoiding Wilson's cronies - including fish, bumblebees and even Arglefrags from the Alpha Centauri System (you've got to hand it to Wilson, he's got contacts). If Edd collides with any of these he takes a fail and the director orders a retake - Edd has four takes (lives) in all.

Edd also has a special snowball firer which freezes nasties for a short time, allowing him to safely pass through them. When Edd has collected all 20 stars, he can star In the next episode.

Phil King First impressions are of Rainbow Islands, what with the vertically scrolling, platform filled levels. However, Edd plays much simpler than that: just collect the stars without touching the nasties. Maybe it's the cute main character but the game has a certain simple charm that keeps you coming back for another try. Technically, neither version impresses. Despite some Spectrumesque sprites, the C64 version comes off the better, mainly due to the 8-bit nature of the game. Edd is also slightly smaller in relation to the screen size, so you can see more above him. Nonetheless it's more difficult than the Amiga game - even the first level is a challenge to complete. Sound is good on both formats, with the jolly Amiga tune particularly pleasing. All in all, not quite a quacker but fun for Edd fans.
Stuart Wynne Edd is a peculiar little game: the basic style and some attractively cute sprites give a Rainbow Islands feel, but actual gameplay is more dated - in fact, Jet Set Willy has more sophistication. Still, leaping from platform to platform while dodging or shooting the baddies certainly isn't easy. Edd jumps a set distance, so picking were to jump from is often crucial as is working out alien movement cycles. The aliens don't home in, but they have to be beaten to get these stars and can't be killed - falling often lands you on top of baddie who's just woken up! So although basic, play is challenging and somewhat compulsive. Quality graphics and a nice soundtrack on the Amiga mean Edd fans will no doubt be hooked, even if I wasn't. The C64 version plays much the same, and although baddie sprites are generally Spectrumesque, colourful platforms and a good main sprite compensate.