Flimbo's Quest logo

Jump & Run Spielchen kommen niemals aus der Mode. Deshalb haben sich die Jungs von System 3 mal gründlich bei anderen Vertretern dieses Genres umgesehen, da und dort eine Idee abgekupfert und ihr eigenes Software-Süppchen daraus gekocht. Aber - warden so Hits geboren?

Die Antwort vorweg: Nein. Für einen soliden Geschicklichkeitstest hat es aber allemal gereicht, zumal man sich in Sachen Präsentation durchaus Mühe gegeben hat.

Allerdings nur, was das eigentliche Spiel betrifft, beim Drumherum wurde ganz schön geschudert: Der Titelsoundtrack ist dünn, der Loadingscreen einfach von der Packung abdigitalisiert, die angeblich deutsche Anleitung eine unleserliche Anhäufung von Fehlern, und die Vorgeschichte um eine entführte Schönheitskönigin ebenso einfallslos wie überflüssig.

Im Spiel selbst steuert man den kleinen Flimbo durch sieben Level voller Plattformen und putziger Gegner. Sinn der Übung ist es, die Einzelteile eines Zauberspruchs zusammenzutragen, mit dessen Hilfe man in die nächste Spielstüfe gelangt; ein Zeitlimit erschwert das Unterfangen.

Gekillte Feinde hinterlassen Bonusgegenstände, die dem Helden kurzfristig Unverwundbarkeit, Zusatzzeit, usw. bescheren. Allerdings sind längst nicht alle Gegner so großzügig, meist bleiben nur ein paar Münzen zurück, für die man dann die gleichen Extras in Shops erwerben kann. Ansonsten gibt es noch Bonusräume vollre Kohle, eine recht ordentliche Steuerung, mittelprächtige Steuerung, mittelprächtige Musik plus Sound-FX, sanftes Scrolling und eine gelungene Grafik in knalligen Bonbon-Farben. Anders gesagt: Bestimmt kein schlechtes Spiel, aber alles schon mal dagewesen. (ml)

Flimbo's Quest logo CU Amiga Screen Star

PRICE: £24.99

I wanna tell you a story. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy; they get on like a house on fire. Enter a mad professor; girl is forcebly removed from boy. Boy gets well needled. Sounds like a rescue attempt's on the cards.

The boy's Flimbo. A cute, clumsy, Americanised chappie who's also the regional superhero. The professor is Fransz Dandruff, inventor of a marvelous rejeuvenation machine which he intends to use on himself. Unfortunately for Flimbo's girlfriend, she's going to become a vital component in this machine, which will drain her youth and give it to Dandruff.

Flimbo can only get into Dandruff's fortress by casting spells to teleport himself there. Naturally there's a catch. The scrolls containing the letters for the spells are in the hands of Dandruff's creatures, and can only be recovered by shooting them.

The first level starts with Flimbo standing outside a shop owned by the wizard, his only ally (although the wizard's only in it for the money and will quite happily help anyone for the right price). A box at the bottom of the screen shows you which creature's holding the first scroll, though he's not on his own. The level one creatures aren't too difficult, a mixture of snails, lizards and big mammals who are only dangerous if they come within range. The scroll carrier is marked by an arrow which floats above him. Shoot him and he'll obligingly drop his parcel. Kill an ordinary creature and it should drop a gold coin that can be spent in the wizards shop. Occasionally they might drop a sand timer which gives you more time to rescue Flimbo's girlfriend, or a heart, which goes towards earning him an extra life.

Once a scroll has been collected it needs to be taken back to the wizard. This is a good time to take a breather and possibly purchase something as well. Bottom of the list is a potion of invulnerability, which turns Flimbo's face green and makes him indestructible for thirty seconds. Extra power gives your weapon twice the range and twice the power it had before. Slightly more pricey is a letter of the spell, for the impatient adventurer. If you're running behind schedule you can quite literally buy some time. Finally, you can buy the whole spell, which will advance you to the next level.

Apart from being seriously cute, this is a game which has everything. The graphics are excellent, the foreground scenery is well-drawn and imaginative working well with the background parallax. Each breed of creature has its own particular habit, from sprinting around unexpectedly to blowing up if you get too close. It's worth turning up the volume as well; the music is fantastic, some of the best I've heard on an arcade game.

Flimbo's is easy to get into and a bugger to get out of. A darned good game that will appeal to everybody.

Flimbo's Quest logo

System 3/Amiga/£24.99/Out June

Amiga review

Tim: "Da da-da daah... da da-da daah (Our Tune theme, Simon Bates cuts in oilily)... and two weeks later, Flimbo discovered his girl Pearly had gone missing. Distraught, Flimbo immediately thought of the mad professor and his quest for eternal life."

"Thinking to himself 'I bet he's captured Pearly and is about to rejuvenate himself by draining the life out of her', Flimbo set off through seven levels of technically stunning platform game..."
Yes, thank you Simon, now sod off.

Flimbo's Quest is beautiful to look at: perfectly smooth parallax scrolling, 32 colours on screen, well animated cutesy sprites, the works. It's a platform game where scrolls have to be collected against the clock to complete levels.

Shoot the nasties and empty the secret treasure rooms to make dosh which can then be used in the shop to buy power ups etc. You've seen it all before, but this example is of above average quality. If it's your cup of tea, go and put the kettle on... Stop

Flimbo's Quest logo

System 3, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

Dandruff's never been such a serious problem. But it'll take more than a bottle of Head & Shoulders to defeat the fiendish Dr Franz Dandruff. He's gone and kidnapped a young girl called Pearly. Why? Because he needs her 'bodily sustaining juices' to reverse the effects of a failed immortality experiment: the mad doctor is ageing ten times as fast as normal.

Luckily Pearly's boyfriend, Flimbo, is a brave fellow and sets out to rescue his beloved. Unfortunately, the rapidly ageing Dandruff has a clever head on his shoulders and quickly creates a horde of mutants to stop Flimbo. These little monsters run and jump around the horizontally scrolling, platform-packed levels trying to bite and sting the cute hero to remove one of his three lives. Thankfully Flimbo is armed with a little gun to shoot the nasties, though most of them require several shots.

The only way to get through a level is to collect parchments. On each of these is one letter of a computer code word - complete the word and you finish the level. All seven words need to be completed and entered into Dandruff's computer to paralyse the potty professor.

Each level also has a shop where Flimbo can buy special items with collected cash or activate items collected. These include a potion which automatically completes the current word, an hour glass for temporary immunity, and balls and arrows which double the reach and strength of Flimbo's shots. There's also an hourglass to extend the game's strict overall time limit.

Cash is obtained from dying nasties or from treasure rooms accessed through secret entrances. Inside these, bonus money can be made by collecting the moneybags in the correct order.

Phil King Despite the ads this isn't a Sizzler, but it is fun. The graphics are nice on both machines with some good parallax scrolling (even the level behind is superbly detailed) and some very cute characters. Sound is equally impressive with an appropriately jolly in-game tune (different ones for each level on Amiga). Gameplay is admittedly simplistic - similar to Hawkeye but, just like that game, very playable. Okay, Flimbo's Quest isn't exactly the most innovative game around but it's excellently presented with cute action which holds a strange fascination. Even the C64 multiload is thoughtfully done - speedy and with your score totting up as it happens.
Robin Hogg Despite not being written by the same team as Hawkeye, Flimbo shares the same style albeit with better graphics. The backgrounds are superbly detailed - it's easy to become distracted just admiring their excellence, especially on the C64. Gameplay is fun, with the time limit and wimpy gun forcing you to dodge aliens as much, or more, than you blast them. As you'd expect of System 3 there's plenty of nice touches, like the Bombjack bit in the treasure rooms. Unfortunately the basic gameplay is overly familiar and lacks variety - especially for a £25 Amiga game. Still it's a quiet time of year and I'm sure this fun game will do well.