Born in the USA?

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JUST when you thought it was absolutely safe to declare the platform game extinct, another one pops up to say a big "Hi" to all semi-sentient beings everywhere. And it is customary for the reviewer to reminisce about late nights spent playing Manic Miner by the light of a 48k ZX Spectrum.
Well, not this reviewer; never owned a Spectrum, and never really liked platform games. Aha, saw you, there'd better be something about Kid Gloves being a bit different, then, or this review's going binwards faster than 15-year-old kiwi fruit.

OK, then - Kid Gloves is a bit different. The dear, sweet infant of the title chucks weapons at the nasties, which never used to happen in The Good Old Days, when Men were Men, and 8-bits were viable.

The aforementioned Minor with the Mitts must be a member of the Chelsea Young Firm, for the weapons of choice are coins. These bouncing bawbees can be used to decimalise, er, decimate the smaller enemies, but are rather short change on the bigger beasties.

What you need to do is collect the cash that lies about and spend it in one of the shops, which are rather improbably found half way up trees, and also well into pre-history.

Hang on! The plot! What of it? Well, it would seem that Kid Gloves has borrowed his uncle's boxing gloves and has found himself transported back several million years. He's got to get back to the present via some fairly zany bits of history, such as the Ice Age (cold), and The West Coast circa '67 (mellow). And if Kid isn't home before tea, well....

Kid Gloves has tried to be far too clever for its own good. The graphics are, on the whole, quite neatly done, and have a smooth, cartoon feel to them.

The downside of this is that the border required around the sprite to stop it looking blocky is virtually invisible. Thus you walk into sprites before you realise it. Either that, or (perish the thought!) the author has used a software sprite routine and hasn't done it too well.

The game sports some of the clearest samples ever heard. Apart from the samples, the in-game effects are the bare minimum required, and the tune is very Whittaker - very good, but very similar to every other Whittaker you've ever heard.

The gameplay has all the signs of a classic platform game; infuriating until you learn how and then annoying when you have to repeat the correct sequence for a screen you know. Age certainly hasn't weared this genre - it must have been something else.

I'm about to start ranting incoherently now, so those with weak stomachs can leave. Kid Gloves is a UK product written by Timothy "I, Ball" Closs. Never has the UK been the US. Our PAL video standard is high quality, unlike the US's NTSC which is not. We can manage 256 screen lines where the NNTSC system can only manage 200. So why does Kid Gloves go for the smaller screen?
Is the Rom Kernel Manual of Mr Closs missing a page or are we getting a clone of a game for a lesser machine?

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MILLENNIUM £24.99 * Joystick and Keyboard

How often have you wished you were somewhere else when boring relatives come to visit? Well, take pity on Kid, because his great uncle Indiana Stallone was one of the most boring relatives anyone could have.

Every Sunday, Kid's family were treated to ridiculously unbelievable anecdotes from the old man, about how he fought off savages in the Amazon jungle, tripped out in the West Coast (California that is, not Blackpool), visited the Ice Age and fought gladiators in Egypt. Uncle Indiana was old, but the Ice Age? And were there gladiators in Egypt? This was all too much for Kid, so one Sunday he scurried out of the room and took refuge in his uncle's study.

Nosing through the junk he found an old dusty pair of boxing gloves and decided to try them on. Admiring himself in a Raging Bull pose in the mirror, he noticed the gloves sparkling. Thinking that this should not be happening, he tried to take them off, but as soon as they tocuehd there was a bright flash of light and Kid found himself standing in a jungle with a rather unfriendly looking native approaching. Maybe he should have stuck with the boring stories!

Each zone is split into ten screens each containing a variety of monsters to avoid, obstacles to negotiate and items to collect. Kid can collect keys to open doors barring his way, money to spend in the shops and food for bonus points. The monsters can be dispatched with a shot from Kid's weapon. This is initially a catapult with two reusable magic coins, but extra weapons such as fire bombs, bouncing 'deathstars' and a powerful laser can be bought from the shops found on the way - if Kid has picked up enough money!

Occasionally, tricky situations can eb overcome by using a little magic from Kid's limited supply of spells. Using magic causes a random spell to be cast ranging from Sesame, which opens doors, through Safety which causes dangerous obstacles to be rendered harmless, to Frozen, whch stops monsters In their tracks.

Once Kid has made his way through all the screens in the five zones, the gloves can transport him back to home and Uncle Indiana's not-so-boring stories.


The graphics of Kid Gloves have obviously been designed with cuteness and colour in mind, but instead of cute the sprites are just small and the use of colour is a little over the top at times. The backgrounds on the Egyptian and Californian levels are so gaudy it is extremely difficult to see where the walls and floors are supposed to be.

The sound is all right, with some jolly sampled effects, but the music sounds more like a C64 tune circa 1985 than a '90s Amiga. Generally the tone is of a half-hearted attempt, which in this day and age is not quite good enough.


Initially, Kid Gloves is great fun to play. Watching Kid in his oversized sportswear jump around making strange noises is most amusing. However, much in the same way as 'classic' (in other words, 'old') platform games worked, the game depends on the player learning patterns and timing for completing of the levels. This is fair enough when you first start playing, but once you have learnt the patterns it becomes incredibly easy to waltz straight through from screen 1 to screen 50 in no time at all.

There just is not enough variety involved from game to game, so once you are proficient at the levels every turn could play just like the last. Not even the most hardened platform fans are going to be happy with a game that loses its appeal too quickly, nor are they likely to return to a game that does not provide any challenge after they have seen the different screens.


Nowadays, a game set in a familiar mould must try to include that extra spark that pushes it ahead of all the others in the genre. Despite a humorous plot and an attempt to create a cute 'small boy' hero for players to identify with, Kid Gloves is just a basic 'progress from screen to screen' platform game like so many seen in the past.

The sound and graphics are acceptable without being special, the gameplay overly simple and the addiction short lived. Even those new to computing and not old enough to remember the original Manic Miner can see the Amiga version to realise how much the format has aged, and sadly Kid Gloves just follows the tradition without providing much interest to leave its mark on the History Book of Software.

Fäustlinge mit böser Überraschung....

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Was passiert, wenn ein kleiner Junge in der Sporttasche seines Großonkels kramt, darin ein paar uralte Boxhandschuhe findet und sie natürlich anprobiert? Nun, in unserem Fall wird er ohnmächtig und wacht kurze Zeit später in der Steinzeit wieder auf...

Als der vorwitzige Knabe dort wilde Tiere und keulenschwingende Höhlenmenschen erblickt, hat er verständlicherweise nur noch den einen Wunsch: "Nix wie ab nach Hause!".

Der Heimweg führt ihn von links nach rechts über den Screen; dabei begegnen dem kleinen Hüpfer überall fiese Monster, wilde Tiere und böse Menschen, die ihm die neun Bildschirmleben rauben wollen. Um seine Heldenhaut zu retten, hat er sogenannte Todesmünzen: Die tanzen nach ihrem Abschuß eine Weile auf dem Screen herum und erledigen zumindest die kleineren Gegner.

Für die größeren Monster kauft er sich in einem der herumstehenden Geschäfte Laserpistolen, verbesserte Todesmünzen oder Zaubersprüche - die erforderliche Barschaft (Goldmünzen) findet man unterwegs.

Kid Gloves ist ein amüsantes Hüpf- und Laufspielchen. Sound und Grafik sind zwar nur durchschnittlich, dafür bietet das Game ordentlichen Spielspaß - dem Spieler wird nicht nur Geschick, sondern auch einiges an Strategie abverlangt.

Positiv fiel außerdem die abwechslungsreiche Gestaltung der einzelnen Level auf: Alle zehn Bilder (insgesamt 50) wechselt die Zeitepoche. Wenn es also auch kein Hit unter den Jump-Games ist, besser gelungen als z.B. "Axel's Magic Hammer" ist Kid Gloves nach meiner Meinung allemal. (C. Borgmeier)

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Duncan MacDonald and Paul Lakin are a couple of idle beggars. While we serious, respectable journous were slaving away over red-hot word processors, they skived off to Cambridge. While there, they met a man in a pub who offered to show them his software. Ooo-er.

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."

Amiga reviewPaul: 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.)

Amiga reviewDunc 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. Stop

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  1. Magic: In Kid Gloves magic is a funny thing, useful but random. Casting a spell might save you by turning flames into oranges or opening a door at a crucial moment. However, you can't choose which spell you're going to cast. What good are oranges when you're trying to open a door?
  2. Extra Lives: Well an extra life is always useful, but these things don't come cheap. Far better to pick them up along the way.
  3. Keys:: Erm... ditto.
  4. Smart Bombs: Where would you be without these little babies? They kill everything on screen and so are essential equipment for the embarrassingly inaccurate.
  5. Weapons: Power costs, killing power more so. You pays your money you takes your choice... well, your laser actually.
  6. Token Floosey: Don't get any big ideas, you'd barely be able to reach her ankles.