Tim Closs is easily influenced by media stars. After seeing Macca's photo in issue one of ZERO, he went out and got his hair cut in the same style. Much like his hero, he soon realised this was a mistake and had to lock himself away for three months while he grew it out. To pass the time he wrote Kid Gloves, a fifty level platform game.
Actually that's a complete lie. (I'd never have guessed. Ed.) Well maybe not a complete lie; Tim does have a David McCandless haircut and Kid Gloves did take three or four months to develop. SO the only lie was that Tim bought a copy of ZERO. Tim Closs has never bought a copy of ZERO. (The clot. Ed.)
For what it's worth, the plot of Kid Gloves is like this. While going through your uncle's attic you find (along with his unrivalled collection of Swedish porn) a large pair of gloves which - of course- you put on. This is not a wise move as you are immediately transported back through time. And you spend the next fifty levels trying to get home before your Poll Tax Form arrives.
There are five different time zones to get through - Faraway Forest (well okay, that's not strictly speaking a time zone), Ancient Egypt, Ice Age, Industrial Revolution and, erm... West Coast 1967. A weird but imaginative choice of subjects for a weird but imaginative game.
Each era has a detailed backdrop as well as relevant monsters. 1967 is, to coin a phrase, 'a stunna'. A if bouncing Yogis weren't bad enough, action seems to take place across someone's Paisley tie, littered with hearts and Beatles drum kits. It ought to carry a warning for epileptics and faded hippies.
As you tootle around each level you can collect food, in the form of oranges and ice creams. (There'll be upset tummies by bedtime. Ed.) There's also money and keys scattered around, though true to platform game tradition they're never around when you need them. But in other ways this is a user friendly game. When you die you only go back to the beginning of a screen, not the beginning of the game.
Better still, if you're in one of those "Oh dear, why didn't I pick up that key earlier on?" situations, you can hit the Backspace button, blip back a few screens and try again. As the prompt says: "Thank you Albert."
Paul: If there's one thing I hate more than platform games, it's cutesy platform games. Babies in nappies fighting dwarves armed with candy... yeuch. This makes it rather difficult to explain why I think that Kid Gloves is on the fabbo side of brill.
Perhaps the best thing about the game is its look. The different time zones drip with imagination and humour. Most obviously striking is the psychedelic mayhem of the sixties screens but my personal fave is the industrial revolution section. Here pistons and cogs grind, spin and generally make life a misery - and a dangerous misery at that.
However, it takes more than one swallow to make a summer and more than a few backdrops to make a game. There are no swallows in Kid Gloves but a lot more than just backdrops. Each era has its own specific nasties as well as the regulars, making the screen full of action but not impossibly impassable.
But this is no time to hang around admiring the animation. Hesitate too long and a succession of large eyeballs start homing in on you; and they're not after a butterfly kiss either. In Kid Gloves looks can kill - unless you kill them first of course.
To destroy eyes, killer penguins and marauding mechanics, the Kid has a choice of weapons - provided he can afford them. For me though, the bouncing pennies that you start with are the best. Okay so they're cutesie but they're flippin' useful too because they bounce back off walls. Faced with a load of baddies, just keep firing. If you miss first time, you've always got a chance with the rebound. This is a very useful feature for those of us who are not so much crackshots as crapshots.
Although ammunition is unlimited, I did find the firing a bit inconsistent, like, erm... it occasionally stopped working at crucial moments. This was only for a heartbeat or two but that was plenty of time in which to be munched by a penguin. This is one of my few niggles with a game that in general plays well.
My only serious criticism of Kid Gloves is the fact that it uses flip screens. I seem to witter on about this in every second review but it's a pain when the action takes place on the edge of a screen. I could go on for hours about a problem I had in Ancient Egypt.
That apart, Kid Gloves is a sharply put together game. It's one of the few platform games that I've felt drawn back to play again and again and again and... (Don't labour the point. Ed.)
Dunc This was an ideal game for me because my Uncle was an explorer and when I was in the attic I found this large stuffed anteater and... (You know what happens to little boys who tell lies. Ed.) Kid Gloves? Berlimey! They look more like boxing gloves to me and we all know why people wear those. I worme mine to play Kid Gloves. Perhaps that's why I never got very far.
Once I took the gloves off, I got to see a bit more of the game and by gad it's a goody. The graphics are slick and colourful and as a special bonus for Amiga players it's got shadows too. On some screens they're cast by rocks and blocks and look a weeny bit silly but when it's Kid Gloves himself who's doing the casting then they're really rather good. The sound was biffo too, with crap effects and the sort of music that goes with panto baddies.
The slick action and the spook screens make Kid Gloves a bit of a winner. In fact, I like it so much that when I've completed all fifty levels, I'm going to turn round and do the whole thing in reverse while wearing asbestos oven gloves.